Sunday, October 12, 2008


I watch a lot of TV. Too much TV by most standards I am sure. This has been recently exaggerated by the fact that I don’t get out much (as they say) at the moment since my daughter was born.

Anyway I think this leads me to a little bit of analysis of what I have been watching recently…..

1. Dexter series 2.

Yes I have been a bit behind and I watch a lot of TV from downloads. Well I wasn't sure how they would follow up the strong first series but this has been great. Further character development, interesting new twists with Dexter having lovelife troubles and the FBI on his case, all maintaining the dark tones previously established; very impressive.

The series hangs on the impressively restrained performances of Michael C. Hall, who at least gets to show a little more emotion in the second series as he continues to learn more about himself. The ending of the season, though clever seemed almost too neat, but in a world of series-end cliffhangers it was more than welcome. I thoroughly look forward to season 3 which has just started screening in the US, especially with Jimmy Smits entering the fray as the new assistant D.A.

2. Soap update. Yes, I still catch bits and pieces of both Coronation Street and Neighbours. Corrie enters it's 'Week of Death' this week and though this is not a Dexter crossover it should see Tony up to some more eye-popping acting as he seeks to bump off his love rival Liam, the palest man in Manchester. I have to say I don't really pay attention to many of the sub-plots and I don't really care where the terrifyingly contact-lensed Rosie Webster has gone to unless it is that taxi-driver's boot. And that would only be interesting if the writers managed to have two would-be killers at work simultaneously in the soap.

As for Neighbours, there are many weak storylines taking place here. The key one has been the capture of Jay, the arsonist/ fireman (another idea picked up from Dexter?) who has upset the residents of Ramsey Street by starting a fire that ended Marco's life and left Kirsten in a very bad way. Luckily after stabbing Steph, he has been apprehended. Yes murder is the order of the day in these two soaps at least.

The tone, storylines and filming have become increasingly bizarre since the move to Five. Scene sequencing has become almost impossible to follow unless the characters have secretly developed teleportation powers and the clash between scenes of Kirsten with her serious burns, Jay stabbing Steph and the light-hearted word of Harold, Declan and the kids has become jarring. Oh, and Sienna's acting really is poor, even by these standards.

3. The Story of Maths on BBC4 appealed to the Mathematics graduate that lurks within. Oxford professor Marcus du Sautoy leads us through a historical journey of Mathematics and how important it was to the ancient cultures in Egypt, Mesopotamia and Greece. The history of quadratic equations, the 'number' zero and the base-60 Babylonian system that still drives our timekeeping are all explained here clearly and in context.

I found the programme interesting, available to non-mathematicians and definitely worth watching. Some of the graphics were annoying and unnecessary and there was a worrying description of irrational numbers, but overall it was a decent programme, and the sort of thing one should expect to see on BBC4. Still available here on iplayer for those interested....

Well that is enough for now. Next up Heroes series 3.....

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