Autumn tends to be an odd time of year for TV in the UK, certain home-grown series start again – most of which I don’t watch. The US shows tend to have restarted in the US but aren’t showing in the UK until early the following year – for example ‘Revenge’ and ‘Supernatural’. However the dregs are starting showing in the UK shortly – e.g. ‘Revolution’.
This leaves me playing finishing off shows that I’d taped but not got to the end of (‘Ray Donovan’) and catch-up on older shows that I hadn’t previously got around to watching (‘Death Valley’ and ‘Boardwalk Empire’).
‘Ray Donovan’ sounded interesting and the trailers made it look good – set in Los Angeles, California Ray Donovan (Liev Schreiber) is a fixer/wet man for law firm that represents film stars and studio executives. This day job gets him in a variety of strange situations, which are then complicated when his father Mickey (Jon Voight) gains early release from prison. There are then added complications from an FBI agent who is obsessed with taking down Ray and anyone linked to him.
Unfortunately the show started somewhat slowly and featured a lot of characters – many of whom disappeared/were sidelined after the first couple of episodes. This meant that I had taped but not watched the last couple of episodes of the series one, when I got around to watching them I was surprised how well they hung together – most of the major threads were tied up in a believable, if over the top, manner and no one acted horribly out of character just to end their storyline.
Even the final scene seemed satisfying and appropriate.
‘Death Valley’ was an impulse recording, I was fast forwarding through an advert break and saw zombies so stopped and watched the trailer. It looked odd so I taped the first (and only) series, which turned out to be odd too.
The premise is rather fun, one year ago zombies, vampires and werewolves appeared in California’s San Fernando Valley and started terrorising the area. The police response was to set up the Undead Task Force (UTF) to contain the problem by seemingly any means necessary, the show is a film crew following the UTF in order to make a TV documentary.
It was surprisingly funny and there isn’t that much gore despite the warnings at the start of the show. My sibling loves ‘The Walking Dead’ and keeps encouraging me to watch it, but hadn’t heard of this show, I liked Powerman 5000’s first couple of CDs but was unaware that Spider One had tried to break into TV/film with this series.
I am not sure if the show had much publicity in the US when it was shown in 2011, but somehow a show featuring black-humoured zombie killing and blood-for-sex vampire prostitutes didn’t get a second season!
Various people that I know have raved about ‘Boardwalk Empire’ so I was expecting a lot from the show, the first episode didn’t deliver to the point where I am not sure I can be bothered to try any further episodes!
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