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TV Reviews

Bobs Burgers S3 11/12/2014

CSI Season 13 10/12/2014

I still love CSI. The personnel may have changed (a bit) but I still really enjoy the puzzle solving part. How they managed to make translating some shorthand in one episode look exciting with a bit of music and dramatic camera shots I am not quite sure but it looked very impressive.

Big School Season 2 04/11/2014

School-set series with David Walliams, Catherine Tate and Phillip Glenister. I found this very funny indeed and should really go back and watch the first series. Phillip Glenister in particular was brilliant as the PE teacher.

Family Guy Season 11 28/10/2014

Definitely getting stuck in a hole these days. Like American Dad, it is probably better to watch it in stages rather than a whole season as it gets quite boring. When it is on form though, it is still very good.

Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy 20/10/2014

I like Noel Fielding. I find his surreal humour very funny but I was very disappointed by this. Occasionally it was excellent but most of it was just stupid.

The Tunnel 16/10/2014

Excellent British-French version of the Danish-Swedish The Bridge. The original was superior (isn’t it always) but I thought this was still very good. I particularly liked the archetypal humour of the British detective. A lot of the season followed very closely to the original even down to some of the dialogue (translated of course) but I don’t think it suffered because of it.

Archer Season 4 10/10/2014

Another great series of animation about the spy outfit. Not quite qure why they are constantly shouting though.

Touch Of Cloth Season 2 & 3 05/10/2014

Very silly indeed. Written by Charlie Brooker who can do no wrong as far as I can tell, John Hannah is excellent as DI Jack Cloth.

24 Season 9 29/09/14

Still thoroughly enjoyable tosh. Although it kind of doesn’t make sense that it is no longer 24 hours, some of the previous seasons were stretching it a little adding in more and more ridiculousness in order to pad out to the full day so I actually think this works better. of course, it’s complete hokum but fun escapism

House Of Cards Season 2 22/09/2014

The second season is even better than this first and the opening episode in particular manages to shock with an unexpected twist (well, unexpected to me as I didn’t see it coming). I hope they make a third series.

American Dad Season 6 01/10/2014

I think watching a whole series of this in one go is a bit much as it does get quite boring now. There are still some amusing sections but not really enough to keep it going that long.

House Of Cards Season 1 09/09/2014

I really enjoyed this political series starring Kevin Spacey. I never watched the UK original although it remains one of those to go back to. From what I can tell, it seems to have translated well to the American political system and this along with Veep makes me feel the system is completely broken.

Californication Season 4

Genuinely funny and highly rude, Californication is still one of the better US exports. That said, I can’t quite figure out why anyone continues to forgive Hank for his misdemeanours. He is truly a complete dick. Difficult to watch on the train at times due to high nudity factor.

True Blood Season 5

I still quite enjoy this series although it seems to be clutching t straws for storylines a little bit. Lots of death and plenty of blood can be a bit difficult to watch on the train at times and allegiances seem to change every 5 seconds.

Misfits Season 5

Misfits continues to be excellent, funny, weird and off the wall into series 5. Rudy is brilliantly hilarious and there are weirder powers than ever turning up in this series. This is what Heroes should have been if it hadn’t taken itself so seriously and shows why British humour in all it’s self-deprecating and defecating ways is superior to that of the US.

Under The Dome Season 1

Another cheesy American series. This time it seems to have been based on The Simpsons Movie as a town is suddenly encased in a giant impregnable dome. Obviously, hysteria and chaos ensue as the residents try to figure out why the dome is there and how to get rid of it.

Orphan Black Season 1

Excellent Canadian series about an English woman living in New York who discovers she is one of many clones and tries to track down her origins whilst evading her watchers.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Pleasantly silly American comedy about a New York police precinct featuring Andy Samberg. Think The Thin Blue Line, only funny.


Cheesy but enjoyable American series about the closure of Alcatraz prison. The prisoners all disappeared one day and have started reappearing in the present. Sam Neill is the man who has to catch them all over again.

Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond

I love James Bond so I was very interested to see this mini-series showing the life of Ian Fleming and how he came to create the character, heavily based on his own experiences. A fascinating insight into a deeply flawed character.

Homeland Season 3

The third series of Homeland got a lot of abuse for being boring but I think it maintained the high standards from the first 2 series. Still highly compelling and interesting.

Fresh Meat Season 3

I really like this university based sitcom with Jack Whitehall. Quite a lot of familiarity from my own university days although plenty that is different too.

Room 101

Frank Skinner is the latest host for this adn has breathed life in to the format. Some very funny guests and changing it to some form of competition where they argue over the bets entry to room 101 makes it better than it used to be.

Him And Her The Wedding

Final series of Him And Her centred around xx wedding. Brilliantly hilarious and cringeworthy as the other series have been. Laura continues to be the nightmare as xx struggles with being gay.

Horizon – The £10 Million Challenge

Scam City – Season 1 and 2

Scary documentary about the various scams perpetuated in the biggest cities of the world. Some are basic and relatively harmless, like the odd pickpocket or 3 card Monty, but some are way more dangerous. Makes you think twice about going travelling at all.

Jet – when Britain ruled the skies.

Yes, the UK used to own the market in jet engines, ever since their advent by Frank Whittle. A really interesting look at their heyday and decline in the UK, like many business areas Britain used to be excellent at.

Fresh Meat S2

I really enjoyed this Uni-based comedy partly because it reminds me of my own time at university. I don’t think I was ever as sad as some of the characters but certainly had some of the same experiences. Second series is just as funny as the first.

Business Boomers: Coffee Shop Hot Shots

OK, we all know Starbucks does not pay tax in the UK but I was surprised at how Costa Coffee is actually bigger than the Starbucks in the UK. About 600M to 400M if I remember correctly. Together with Caffe Nero it is interesting to see how they pitch themselves differently to their customers and it makes me realise why I prefer Cafe Vergnano near Chancery Lane.

Business Boomers: Real Storage Wars

Self-storage is becoming big business in the UK. Not as bad as the US but there are a number of large firms selling space for you to store all your crap. This looks at the rise of the industry in not very many years. Surprisingly interesting. Partner this with a couple of episodes of Storage Hunters on Dave (my guilty pleasure) and you’ve got an interesting insight into people’s lives.


Brilliant follow up to the Olympic based sitcom 2012 centreing on the BBC. Much funnier than the original I think but painful at times.

Rule Britannia! Music, mischief and morals in the 18th century

Documentary about the 18th century. I am more interested in history than I used to be and this programme looking at the morals was very fascinating.

Business Boomers: Amazon

Interesting expose on the rise of Amazon in the last 10 years. I have always had respect for them as a company and certainly have spent a lot of money with them over the years, but this has made me think twice about them. Their business practices are very aggressive and don’t really care who they step on.

Sherlock Season 3

Just finished watching this at home with Lesley. A little late, I know as it was on at Christmas but time is an issue these days. This season got a lot of stick in reviews but I really enjoyed it. The tricky part in the first episode of how Sherlock avoided death when jumping off the building was interesting and I liked the way different possibilities were presented. You could say it was a bit of a cop out but then so was the original solution in the book and no answer would ever have satisfied everyone. The second episode was a bit self-indulgent perhaps with the wedding and everything but still, a great series I thought.

The Walshes

New comedy series by Graham Linehan who is always excellent. First episode is a little weak but has some funny moments. A little bit cliched perhaps. Let’s see what the rest of the series is like.

Bang Goes The Theory

Veep s2

Liberty of London

Brushing Up On…


Bluestone 42 Season 2

The Life Of Rock With Brian Pern

Outnumbered Season 4

Sherlock Season 2

Sherlock Season 1

Inside Number 9

The Brits Who Built The Modern World

Ja’mie – Private School Girl

No, this is not some dodgy porn I was watching on the train. It is the follow up to Summer Heights High. Australian comic Chris Lilley plays a high school girl in a mockumentary about school life. Ja’mie has now gone to private school and demonstrates more of the spoilt brat attitude she had previously developed. Very cutting an satirical at times, it is nevertheless a little uncomfortable watching on the train at times. In spite of the fact that I know it is a comedy, anybody looking over my shoulder would simply see a show with lots of schoolgirls in it.

Pound Shop Wars


I really enjoyed this BBC3 comedy starring Nick Helm. Unsurprisingly, he plays an uncle and the child in question is a socially inept “nerd”providing contrast to his musician “cool” layabout life. Definitely worth checking out.

House Of Fools

I was a little skeptical about this new vehicle for Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer. I have always found their humour a bit hit and miss and find some of the more surreal stuff plain irritating. I had also caught a glimpse of the program on TV and thought it looked lame. So why did I download it? Well, I thought I would give it a go and actually found it a lot better than expected. Some parts of it were very funny but then I do like a bit of slapstick. However, it definitely has it’s weak moments too and when it is is weak, it is very poor.

Blink . A Horizon Guide To The Senses

Our 5 senses link us to the outside world. Dr Kevin Fong like back through 40 years of Horizon archives to find out what science has taught us about our tools of perception.

Asteroids – The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

Famed for their ability to inflict Armageddon from outer space, asteroids are now revealing the secrets of how they are responsible for both life and death on our planet. Armed with an array of powerful telescopes, scientists are finding up to 3000 new asteroids every night. And some are heading our way. But astronomers have discovered that it’s not the giant rocks that are the greatest danger – it’s the small asteroids that pose a more immediate threat to Earth. Researchers have explained the photon propulsion that propels these rocks across space, and have discovered that some asteroids are carrying a mysterious cargo of frost and ice across the solar system that could have helped start life on Earth.

Man On Mars: Mission To The Red Planet

Horizon goes behind the scenes at NASA to discover how it is preparing for it most ambitious and daring mission: to land humans on the surface of Mars. Horizon meets the scientists and engineers who are designing new rockets, new space suits and finding ways to help astronauts survive the perils of this long voyage.

Pain, Pus and poison – Poison

How scientists went fro finding antidotes to poisons to applying poisons as a cure.

Pain, Pus and Poison – Pus

Exploring early attempts to tackle infection and how we used microbes to fight back.

Sex – A Horizon Guide

Sex is a simple word for a very complex set of desires. It cuts to the core of our passions, our wants, our emotions. But when it goes wrong, it can be the most painful thing of all. Professor Alice Roberts looks through 45 years of Horizon archive to see how science came to understand sex, strived to solve our problems with it, and even help us to do it better. Can science save the day when sex goes wrong?

Horizon – Solar Storms. The Threat To Planet Earth

How a predicted spate of impending solar storms may affect our technological civilisation.

Horizon – The Truth About Exercise

Michael Mosley uncovers research that has the power to make us all live longer and healthier lives

Horizon – Swallowed By A Sinkhole

Horizon investigates why the geology of Florida makes it the sinkhole capital of the world.

Don’t Panic: The Truth About Population

The Joy Of Logic

Genghis Khan

Excellent documentary from the BBC. This was the first item I tried downloading from iPlayer. Irritatingly, you can’t transfer a downloaded file from one device to another and iPlayer downloads do not work on my tablet so I had to watch it on my phone this morning. Still, a fascinating programme about the Mongol leader in the 1200’s.

The Wrong Mans

American Dad Season 5


David Mitchell and Robert Webb in a 3 part series that sees them as ambassadors in a fictional East European country dealing with the corruption.

Man Down

The Irrepressible Greg Davies as a loser of a teacher. Pretty much as you imagine he is in real life. Very funny. with a great turn by Roisin Connaty as his very thick friend.


Californication Season 3

Numb3rs Season 5

The Returned Season 1

Another French series with a variation on the zombie theme. 10 years after a bus crash near a small village kills all the occupants, a young girl up again not looking like she has aged at all. The family, including her twin sister try to come to terms with her reappearance whilst other local deaths also start to reappear. Totally creepy but compelling but the ending is a little weak. I hope there is another series.

Californication Season 2

David Duchovny as a sex addict. Tough roll for him. Laugh out loud funny in places but a bit rude for the train in others.

Breaking Bad Season 5 Part 2

Not a lot I can say about Breaking Bad that hasn’t already been said. Great programme and excellent end to the series.

Dexter Season 7

Yeah, I couldn’t wait around for Lesley to watch another 5 series to catch up so I watched the latest series of Dexter. Fascinating to see the change of direction now that Dexters sister Deb knows his secret.

Pop: The Science Of Bubbles

The lovely Dr Helen Czerski discussed bubbles and how they shape the world in this BBC4 documentary. It is a fascinating insight into how they are involved in all aspects of life.

The Tube

This was a pretty interesting documentary series about the London Underground and how it works. Some fascinating stuff in there but not sure if a 6 x 1 hour series was required as most of what was said could have been done in at most 2 hours. Gives you a bit more appreciation for the staff that work there although I don’t consider myself one of the idiot customers they showed on the program.

Mr Selfridge

I felt quite strange watching this on the train as I don’t normally like period drama type stuff. I normally watch very blokey or sciencey type things so felt a bit self-conscious watching this. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope they make another series. I am sure there is a reasonable amount of artistic licence employed here but I know it is based in fact. It is fascinating to understand the challenges faced in setting up such an institution as Selfridge’s.

Forbrydelsen Season 3

The third season of The Killing is just as good as the others. As Sarah Lund tries to uncover the killer in an old murder case in order to save a kidnapped child.

Dexter Season 1

Going back to the start with this as my wife has started watching it. A truly compelling show that keeps you on the edge of the seat. A little gory for my wife at times but really enjoyable.

The Big Bang Theory Season 6

TBBT is one of my favourite shows and since my wife has started watching it too we watched this series together. Brilliantly funny and every episode is consistently good. My daughter enjoys it too although I am not sure how much she understands and some of the jokes make me a little uncomfortable when she is watching.

Futurama Season 4

This is not as funny as it used to be and I do feel a little self-conscious watching cartoons on the train. It still has some funny moments in it though.

House Season 5

I watched the first 4 seasons some years ago and really enjoyed them but then hadn’t gotten round to carrying on for some time. Still enjoy the show and season 5 was good but it took me a while and some research to remember what had happened in previous years.

Dexter Season 6

I have really enjoyed Dexter so far and this season didn’t disappoint. A friend of mine doesn’t think this season is as good as the others but I really enjoyed it and was surprised to see the main antagonists in Edward James Olmos from Battlestar Galactica and Colin Hanks, son of Tom. Massive cliffhanger at the end which I won’t mention here as my wife has now started so I need to wait for her to catch up before watching Season 7.

Being Human Season 5

And back to vampires again. And werewolves and ghosts this time. Being Human was great when it first came out as it is was much more light hearted than you would expect and had a definite British feel to it. It got a lot darker with Season 2 and 3 but there was still an element of humour in there. With Season 5 I was concerned it would not be as good as the original characters were no longer there and I did not think I would like the new characters as much but this series has been excellent so far. The humour seems to be back again as well which is great.

Being: Liverpool

A very interesting look at how football clubs operate.

Moone Boy

Comedy series written by and starring Chris O’Dowd from the IT Crowd. It is quite amusing but not brilliant.

True Blood Season 4

From zombies to vampires and all kinds of other supernatural beings. True Blood is quite an enjoyable series although a bit silly at times. Over the last couple of series they seem to have a bit of trouble introducing all kinds of different supernatural creatures that it gets a bit ridiculous. And nobody seems to be bothered by people dying all the time. It can get a bit risqué to watch on the train at times too.

The Walking Dead Season 3

Wow. I wondered where they could go with Season 3 that they had not already done. Perhaps it would get boring seeing them constantly running from Zombies and never out of danger but they managed to introduce new elements all the time. An amazing show although difficult to watch on the train at times as it can get a bit gory in places and I am sure other people don’t really want to see that at 8 in the morning.

Game Of Thrones Season 3

Watched this at home with Lesley in the old fashioned way of a single episode a week. It is horrible having to do this these days when I am used to watching a whole series in a week. Still, this is bloody brilliant. We already know the stories having read the books but the way they have been brought to the screen is amazing. Everything looks fantastic and the storylines are hugely complex and involved. It gets very difficult to remember all the character names sometime but it always leaves you breathless at the end and wanting more.

Engrenages Season 4

The French detective series (Spiral in English) is grim and does not make Paris look glamorous in any way. Another example of the excellent European drama that is being made at the moment.

Homeland Season 2

I agree with most critics in that this did not have the same impact as the first series but then, how could it? Very enjoyable and tense still though.

Misfits Season 4

Misfits is what Heroes should have been. An excellent take on the Superhero genre giving it a distinctly British feel. I thought that it would fall apart after the departure of the original cast but it is still great.

Him and Her Season 3

Him and Her is truly gross but extremely funny. Russell Tovey is great and Joe Wilkinson plays a fantastic disgusting neighbour.

Friday Night Dinner Season 2

Great series with Simon Bird from Inbetweeners and Tamsin Greig from Green Wing and Black Books among other things. Both are great in this, a very funny series based on two grown up kids having dinner at their parents house each week.

American Dad Season 3

American Dad is very funny but it gets a bit samey after a while. I think in future I need to intersperse it with another series rather than watching 20 episodes in a row.

CSI Season 10

I still love CSI. Season 10 Has Laurence Fishburn now as the ain character after the departure of William Peterson. A bit of a change but as I say, still excellent.

Hung Season 3

Hung is abut a male sports teacher who becomes a gigolo in order to pay his mortgage and alimony. This is a dark comedy in the style of Weeds and very amusing.


It didn’t get the best reviews but I thought this series was really good. It centres around secret agent Sam Hunter (weak link to programme title) played by ex-Neighbours alumni Melissa George. Lots of similarities with Spooks but not quite as god but some great action scenes and drama.

The Cleveland Show Season 2

Still not as good as Family Guy but funny nonetheless. I still feel a bit odd watching cartoons on the train though.

Super Sized Earth

A short series of programmes by Dallas Campbell to how how ambitious creations have redesigned the planet to build the modern world. Very interesting.

Richard Hammond’s Miracles Of Nature

I have long been a fan of Top Gear and my daughter very much enjoys the Richard Hammond engineering connections programmes so I figured this would be worth checking out too. I found it very enjoyable showing how we have looked to nature to solve some of our technological challenges.


Brilliant. Greg Davies recent sitcom where his daughter comes back from a gap year in Thailand with a hippy husband. Greg at his best.

Whitechapel Series 2

I saw the first series of this a few years ago when it was about a Jack the Ripper copycat murderer and really enjoyed it so recently sought out series 2 and 3. Series 2 is about a Krays copycat murderer and is also very good. It stars Rupert Penry-Jones as the investigating DI.

Bob’s Burgers Season 2

Bob’s Burgers is quite amusing. It is another animated comedy in the vain of Family Guy with a highly disfunctional family at the centre. Worth looking at if you like other animated favourites.

Family Guy Season 10

Family Guy is great but has gone of the boil a bit recently. Some of the episodes are excellent but some decidedly weak.

Breaking Bad

I have watched Season 1-4 and the first half of Season 5 now. This series is excellent. It is about a high school chemistry teacher who discovers he has cancer on his 50th birthday. In order to provide for his family he decides to start cooking meth. Not an obvious solution but a fascinating programme. Very dark in places and not as amusing as Weeds. Well worth seeking out.

Game of Thrones Season 2

Awesome. The look of these is simply breathtaking (not surprising considering how much it cost to make) and the acting is excellent. The detail is kept pretty close to the books as well so we are really looking forward to Season 3.

The Bridge

A superb Danish/Swedish detective series starting off with a murder on the Oresund bridge connecting Copenhagen and Malmo. I’ve been watching quite a lot of subtitled European drama recently and this was one of the best. Also worth watching are Detective Montalbano (Italian), Forbrydelsen (Danish), Engrenages (French) and Borgen (Danish). I’ve not seen any Wallander but might have to dig that out (the original that is, not the Branagh stuff).