The Couch Potato Report

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The Couch Potato Report – June 2nd, 2012

Inside this week’s Couch Potato Report is a contemporary update of the classic literary characters Holmes and Watson.

Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective created in 1887 by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Holmes is known around the world as a man with astute logical reasoning and an ability to solve the most difficult cases.

He was featured in four novels and 56 short stories, and it is elementary, my dear listener, that I begin with his latest incarnation.

And I’m not speaking about the most recent cinematic version of SHERLOCK HOLMES starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law…although they are pretty good too.

No, I am talking about the most recent television version, which gives us Holmes and Watson solving cases and crimes in modern day, 21st century London.

This new series – simply called SHERLOCK – debuted on the BBC in the Summer of 2010 with three brilliant 90 minute episodes, and SERIES TWO – also comprised of three 90 minute episodes – began airing last January.

That second series is now out to own, and own it you should, for this show is brilliant!!

Sherlock is played by a great actor named Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman – from the original British version of THE OFFICE – is Doctor John Watson and they are both amazing in the show!

SHERLOCK is clever, smart, fun, funny, touching, and features a great villain – as always – in Moriarity!! Even if you know the original stories that the episodes of SHERLOCK are based on, you will still enjoy this show because the writing is exceptional, the cast is perfect and the show is completely and utterly brilliant!!

SHERLOCK – SERIES TWO is a must see…and if you have never seen the first series, head down to 221B Baker Street and investigate it as well!!

The game is afoot!!

More modern day investigations are up next…these one all take place in and around Toronto during THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON of the television series ROOKIE BLUE.

ROOKIE BLUE is about the lives of five rookie police officers who have just graduated from the academy.

It is also about the loves of those officers.

Now, I enjoy police procedural shows, and so I do enjoy ROOKIE BLUE…although the cases these officers have to solve are never all that difficult…usually the first person you think did it, did.

However, even with hit and miss stories, it still has a great cast and I liked THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON of ROOKIE BLUE so I will give it a mild recommendation.

With Summer almost upon us, the 2011-2012 television season has ended, however there are some shows that go against the grain and actually air new episodes when the weather is hot and sunny instead of during Fall and Winter.

With those shows set to begin new seasons soon, the last ones are now available to own, and available for me to review, and review them I shall, starting with THE COMPLETE SEASON ONE of the re-imagining of TEEN WOLF.

Yes, TEEN WOLF, that fun, goofy eighties comedy starring Michael J. Fox as a high school kid who discovers he’s a werewolf has been remade as a supernatural drama for teenagers.

I love the original movie…it is just so much fun…and I don’t have a problem with them re-imagining it for a new audience per se, but what the show is missing is some goofy charm. It feels far more like TWILIGHT than TEEN WOLF…with an excess of teenage melodrama in each episode.

Ultimately, I have to admit that I enjoyed THE COMPLETE SEASON ONE of TEEN WOLF. I still prefer the movie, but the show is pretty good too.

One show that I have never been able to get into…and I have tried for four seasons now… is the vampire soap opera TRUE BLOOD.

Created by Oscar and Emmy Award winner Alan Ball…who also gave us the film AMERICAN BEAUTY and the superb television series SIX FEET UNDER…TRUE BLOOD is about a world where vampires and humans co-exist. They don’t always get along, but they all live in and near a small town in the state of Louisiana.

Academy Award winning, Winnipeg born actress Anna Paquin stars as the main character – Sookie, a human waitress with telepathic gifts, who – for most of the series – has been in love with a 174-year-old vampire named Bill…and vampire Eric Northman has been in love with her.

As I said, TRUE BLOOD is a vampire soap opera…that also features werewolves, werepanthers and shapeshifters…and although I do watch every season when they are released on DVD, I have just never fully gotten into the show, even though it takes place in a genre I usually enjoy, it very well written, and features Anna Paquin, whose work I usually enjoy.

Oh well, THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON of TRUE BLOOD might not be something I highly recommend…but I did watch the whole thing, with no complaints…so let’s call that a mild recommendation.

One show that I do highly recommend is THE BIG C. This one is packed full of interesting characters and features well-written dialogue and scenarios. It is also funny, very entertaining and heartfelt.

THE BIG C stars Laura Linney from THE TRUMAN SHOW as a repressed suburban wife and mother who is diagnosed with THE BIG C…cancer. During the first season of the show, she decided to keep it a secret…but by its end, she had told those close to her.

And now, in THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON, they are dealing with her diagnosis…some better than others.

THE BIG C is a show that I not only enjoy and recommend…but I really like it.

I have a couple of new films for you now, to close down this week’s edition of The Report, and the war film RED TAILS is up first.

RED TAILS is inspired by the real-life adventures of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American combat unit to serve in World War II and as long as it stays focussed on the story of the war and their dogfights and high flying fights it is a great movie.

When it switches to the stories of the men and their exploits outside of the cockpit, that is when it slows down and isn’t great at all. Sometimes it is nice, yes…but mostly it is just boring.

RED TAILS has some of the best airplane battles ever filmed, they are completely amazing at times, but as a whole the movie isn’t very good.

One day, someone will make a great movie about the Tuskegee Airmen, but RED TAILS is not it.

Finally this week… WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN.

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN stars Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton from MICHAEL CLAYTON as a Mother who struggles to bond with and love her son. Her husband seems to have no issues with him, but she just can’t connect with him…and as he gets older, what he says and does gets worse.

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN is a suspenseful and gripping psychological thriller, and I had no idea how it ended…so as it moved toward its conclusion using a non-linear storytelling structure…I became more and more engaged and ultimately I thought the movie was great!!

This is a movie that doesn’t give you any details about the plot until it wants you to know what is going on and while the path to the end isn’t always easy to take, it is worthy of your time when it gets there…especially if you don’t know how it ends.

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN is a great little movie!!

The psychological thriller WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN, the not very good war film RED TAILS, THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON of the very enjoyable television series THE BIG C, THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON of the vampire soap opera TRUE BLOOD, the okay but too TWILIGHT-esque for my tastes COMPLETE SEASON ONE of the re-imagined TEEN WOLF, THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON of the likeable made-in-Toronto series ROOKIE BLUE, and the absolutely amazing SECOND SERIES of the modern day adventures of SHERLOCK are all available now, either on disc or on demand.

Coming up inside the next Couch Potato Report

The made-in-Manitoba biopic WRATH OF GRAPES – THE DON CHERRY STORY II, the big budget super flop JOHN CARTER starring Vancouver’s Taylor Kitsch, THE COMPLETE EIGHTH SEASON of the great show CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM, and the animated Beatles classic YELLOW SUBMARINE debuts on blu-ray!!

I’m Dan Reynish. I’ll have more on those, and some other releases, in seven days.

For now, that’s this week’s COUCH POTATO REPORT.

Enjoy the movies and I’ll see you back here again next time on The Couch!