Film Watch Review - 401 to 450

It feels very much like the blockbuster films that we've been super excited to arrive in a format we can watch have tailed off somewhat. I don't know if it's because everything is just a Marvel sequel these days, or if it's just a slow time in the cinema (four to six months ago), but hopefully things will pick up soon. Even so, there were still some great classics that we enjoyed over the past fifty films.

Here's a roundup of 400 to 450, with a very brief snippet of my conclusions after each one.

401-410

401 - Girl Most Likely 4/5. "I’d expected your more traditional rom-com style story, but this was unusual and quirky, with fun dialogue and fascinating characters."

402 - The Call 3/5. "It was when Halle was told to go home and decided to take matters into her own hands that it sort of lost its way. After that it was pretty unbelievable, and whilst entertaining, it lost the edge that it had been carrying up to that point."

403 - In a World... 3/5. "It was awkward at every single stage, each scene containing yet more amazing awkwardness, embarrassing conversations and shameful situations. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, except there was no let up in the cringing!"

404 - Gravity 5/5. "Incredible. Clooney and Bullock were both spot on, the visuals were mind-blowing. We spent a good period of time just repeating to each other that they must have taken a rocket into space to film it, it looked so good."

405 - Thor: The Dark World 2/5. "Unfortunately, there didn’t seem to be enough story to go with it. Christopher Eccleston made a good bad guy, but it didn’t really feel like the world was in jeopardy, even in the big showdown."

406 - One Chance 2/5. "Ultimately, this wasn’t a good film. The accents were all over the place, the acting was spotty at best, and it just didn’t hold together very well at all."

407 - Paranoia 2/5. "It kept my attention, and it was entertaining enough, but only because I was having it explained to me along the way. I didn’t think it was particularly special."

408 - 10 Things I Hate About You 4/5. "The soundtrack is what really gets this film moving, some really great songs, a good story – adapted from Shakespeare – and a handful of good performances."

409 - The Bodyguard 4/5. "It’s always a worry when you rewatch something after a while that it won’t be as good, but thankfully this one stood up to the test. I think I like it because he’s so closed off and monosyllabic, and it’s like breaking through a brick wall."

410 - Stuck in Love 3/5. "We’ve been working through some less challenging movies due to sheer exhaustion, and this was absolutely what we needed – just a handful of people twisting and turning through tricky relationships."

Most watched directors

411-420

411 - Escape Plan 3/5. "It was surprisingly good, very watchable, stacked full of twists and turns and culminating in a good, exciting ending. I thought it got off to a slow start, and I was a bit disappointed that Arnie and Sylv didn’t get to have more crackling dialogue together."

412 - The Blind Side 5/5. "It’s such a great film. The story is pretty simple really – one family extend the hand of friendship and love to someone that really needs it. There’s none of the Hollywood drama, the characters and the journey were enough."

413 - The Hunger Games: Catching Fire 5/5. "There were some elements of the final few scenes that confused us, so I went back to the books to confirm some of the “facts”. It was reassuring to see how closely the film resembled the book, even with the exact same dialogue and actions in places. The book also has the same cliffhanger, so at least it is consistent."

414 - Saving Mr Banks 5/5. "I found the film to be hugely entertaining, and really quite emotional. It was the kindness I found incredible, the chauffeur being so cheerful despite a difficult life and a very tricksy passenger. With Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson it would have been hard for this film to go wrong, and thankfully it didn’t."

415 - Lee Daniels' The Butler 3/5. "I didn’t realise it was based on a true story until it started, and it was kinda hard to believe it was… because all the way through the film, it was like watching a different version of Forrest Gump. Which I’m reliably informed isn’t a true story."

416 - The Family 3/5. "It felt disjointed, like the movie was never quite sure what it was trying to be. It was fun, though, and the Goodfellas reference would probably have been brilliant if I had ever seen that film."

417 - Philomena 4/5. "The subject matter was tricky, and ultimately quite sad, but it’s handled in such a way to make you feel that there is hope for life after all. Plus, there was a lot of Guinness, so who can complain?"

418 - Pretty Woman 5/5. "It was SO GOOD. I’m gutted that I haven’t seen this before, because it’s the kind of film I’d watch over and over and over. Amusing and witty people with interesting relationships, set to nostalgic music."

419 - The Help 5/5. "It took a while for the characters to really come to life, but about halfway through, it seemed to kick into gear. I thought Octavia as Minny was fantastic, and Bryce as Hilly portrayed the terrible attitude perfectly. Emma was also great, but the film was stolen by the maids more than anyone."

420 - Don Jon 2/5. "You could tell it was a labour of love for JGL, written and directed by him, and starring him too. It wasn’t the best film ever, but I did quite like the composition. The relationships were weird and overall the film followed that same path, but it came to a good ending, and it wasn’t the worst ninety minutes of my life."

Films by decade

421-430

421 - The Getaway 1/5. "As it turns out, this was a terrible film. The premise didn’t make any sense, the story was full of holes and really just there as a tenuous thread to string far too many car chase scenes together."

422 - The Secret Life of Walter Mitty 5/5. "From the start, it was amusing and heart-breaking at the same time, beautiful, vivid and filled with thought-provoking scenes. Every single shot appeared to be carefully crafted – that’s what made it look arty from an outside view – but it wasn’t done just for the sake of it. It all worked, and had a fab soundtrack on top."

423 - American Hustle 3/5. "It was an enjoyable two hours, there’s no doubt about that, but am I revealing myself as stupid to say I really couldn’t follow what was going on? I had a vague sense of them getting deeper and deeper into a con, with many different sides getting involved, but I couldn’t follow what the actual plan was and whether it was working or not."

424 - The House Bunny 3/5. "I didn’t really like the whole “makeover suddenly makes them popular” thing, but it was somewhat offset by the fact that it worked both ways. The moral in the end, of just be yourself, was worthwhile, I’m just not sure it went the right route of getting there."

425 - Patriot Games Unrated. " Half an hour in and I couldn’t stop from admitting I was bored. The scenes felt far too long and drawn out – I’m all for slow burn but the scenes within themselves have to be interesting to start with."

426 - The Beach 3/5. "They’ve got some beautiful locations, though, and some great actors… even if one of them is that guy off Casualty. It’s an odd film based on an odd book, it sticks pretty closely to the source material and does a good job. Mostly enjoyable if a bit disturbing in places."

427 - Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom 2/5. "I needed more of those basic facts, I needed them to connect the dots that they sailed over because, I guess, they assume everyone knows the story by now. It’s a failing on my part but the film just didn’t do anything for me."

428 - The Breakfast Club 3/5. "It was good, and I love the concept – just five kids spending the day together and getting to know each other. But it felt weird, the idea of a Saturday detention, one that lasts all day, and is mostly unsupervised like that."

429 - Walk the Line 3/5. "There were only two moments where I really felt touched by his plight – when he forgot his kid’s birthday, and when his dad was so awful to him at Thanksgiving. Otherwise, he didn’t seem too nice a guy. And the poor first wife came across as a right cow."

430 - See No Evil, Hear No Evil 3/5. "It’s an odd one. It takes a while to adjust to the humour of the 80s, particularly as it’s a difficult but genius concept I don’t think you would get away with today!"

Films by score

431-440

431 - Aliens 5/5. "It was actually a lot scarier than I was expecting, I don’t remember being quite so on edge during the first one. It’s a great film, the androids are creepy and the alien is terrifying. Plus, it turns out the kid is really cool."

432 - Fired Up 5/5. "It’s not ground-breaking, and it won’t win any awards, but it was a fab pick-me-up during a stressful day, full of snappy dialogue and a character journey that worked!"

433 - Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark 4/5. "I didn’t deal so well with the snakes, but I thought the rest of it was pretty entertaining. Harrison Ford turns out to be quite a good looking chap in his day, which was a surprise to me, and the story was a good adventure."

434 - All is Lost 5/5. "There’s a lot left unsaid, plenty of questions about this guy, what he’s doing out there, what his non-sea-life is like, but none of it really matters. It’s all about his fight for survival, and it’s almost like you’re right there with him."

435 - Charlie's Angels 3/5. "It’s really not a very good film. Terrible story, the worst special effects, and not a particularly good script either, but somehow it works. You just get to know and love the characters, the three girls and Bosley, and they do interact well with each other. By the end, you are rooting for them to win the day."

436 - Meet Joe Black 4/5. "Although it’s a lengthy film, Meet Joe Black didn’t really feel all that long. I did start to lose the plot a bit towards the end, though. I found the emotional stuff to be with the family side rather than the potential relationship between Joe and Susan. I did shed a few tears though, so it must have worked its magic."

437 - Cuban Fury 5/5. "A stellar cast and a none-too-challenging concept, with several laughs along the way, and pantomime heroes and villains to cheer and boo respectively. I thought Nick Frost did a really good job with holding the film, when he’s more used to being part of a double act."

438 - Non-stop 4/5. " I actually thought it was really good. There was a moment midway through where I realised it wasn’t going to be Oscar material, and film snobs would hate it, but then I put that out of my mind and got into it. At its core, there’s a really fun murder mystery style whodunit to be worked out."

439 - Her 2/5. "I thought this film had everything it needed to have to be great – excellent cast, great acting, moody shots, brilliant arty feeling to it, and yet it just didn’t deliver. There was something missing."

440 - Delivery Man 4/5. "The storyline was far-fetched but held down really well by the cast of characters – the long-suffering family, the pregnant girlfriend, and the fantastic worn-down lawyer. They held it together and that allowed the laughs to be bigger and the growth of the character even better."

Yearly Totals

441-450

441 - The LEGO Movie 5/5. "Ooh, such a lot of fun. It was eerily reminiscent of the Pirates vs Scientists film, in that it was non stop from beginning to end. Totally exhausting but absolutely brilliant."

442 - That Awkward Moment 3/5. "The stories were good, although as a girl not always that easy to relate to. The conversations were fun, and the acting mostly good. I thought it tried a bit too hard to do the “natural dialogue” thing, and it ended up feeling a bit uncomfortable at times."

443 - Edward Scissorhands 4/5. "It’s a great film, fun in the right places, and emotional too. Johnny Depp is brilliant, as he most often is, with vulnerability sewn right into a character that is otherwise a deadly weapon. The only problem is the big flaw in the premise."

444 - Last Vegas 5/5. "This was touted, in some circles, as a version of The Hangover but for older folks. Yes, there are four guys going to Las Vegas for a bachelor party, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. There’s an actual story at the heart of this one, with a friendship on the rocks, and some really engaging personalities on display."

445 - Happy Christmas 4/5. "The general idea, a crazy sister needs taming whilst sister-in-law needs loosening up, came across well, and the ending scene was good, but it just felt to me like that wasn’t the end. Neither seemed to have the redemption you would expect."

446 - The Monuments Men 3/5. "It made the sombre scenes feel a little out of place, particularly that awful bit with the record playing and the melancholy mood. It was all fun and light-hearted, and sparkling uniforms until that point, and again afterwards."

447 - A Long Way Down 3/5. "Jess really steals the show, with Imogen Poots in demanding form, but all four of them do a great job. Unfortunately, there seemed to be far too much story to cram into the short amount of time, and you sometimes got left behind a bit."

448 - Captain America: The Winter Soldier 3/5. "I thought the story lacked a lot of punch and interest, the whole Nazi thing just felt laboured although Bucky’s reappearance added some tension to the last few scenes. Scarlet Johansson was perhaps the best bit about it, being just as awesome as the titular hero without a shield to hide behind."

449 - The Taking of Pelham 123 3/5. "It was a good film, strong story, reasonably interesting characters and good direction. I did think it lacked something – emotion or real hardcore empathy with either the good guy or the bad guy, and it was predictable in places. Other times it was less so."

450 - The Love Punch 5/5. "The pair of them squabbling with each other was good, even if the inevitable conclusion was obvious from the start. Timothy Spall as the sidekick friend was very amusing, and them all being in France just added to the joy. Not groundbreaking but really brilliant, and definitely one we could watch over again."

Open top bus tour of the New Forest

Much of the UK experienced some very hot weather in July, weeks of sunshine and muggy conditions bringing out the sandals and making it hard to sleep. That being the case, it’s typical that when my parents invited me on an open top bus tour of the New Forest, it absolutely poured down.

The New Forest Tours are really quite a good deal. £14 may seem a bit pricey to start with, but you can jump on and off any of the three routes at any time for a limited period. Upgrade your ticket and you can get weekend and week-long extensions, so if you’re holidaying in the area, it can be a good way to get round.

The central part of the tour, where two routes start, is Lyndhurst – a nice little village, although very busy. We managed to have a quick wander round before hopping on the bus, and despite it raining before-hand, we made our way to the top deck.

The precipitation held off for the start of the journey, although we experienced an interesting phenomenon. The bus whooshing past the wet trees, whilst not hitting them directly, provided enough movement for water to flick directly at us. It was like being on the water rides at a theme park. Thankfully, the weather was still in its muggy stage so despite the rain and the occasional dousing, it wasn’t cold.

Remaining decidedly British about the whole thing, we stuck it out, ending up the only people on the upper level.

We got off the bus at Hythe, where a quick glimpse across the water to the Southampton docks showed several cruise ships waiting to go out. The rain moved back in again so we stopped off for a quick cup of tea before hot footing it back on the bus.

We only planned to do the green route, but the sun came out as we were winding our way across the beautiful New Forest towards Lyndhurst. Briefly, we pondered extending our trip to include another route, but with the weather so changeable, we decided to call it quits. Even though it had been a damp day, it was still a lot of fun, I got a handful of pictures, and managed to notch up another open top bus tour for my Life List collection.

Doctor Who, Series 8 - Deep Breath

Doctor Who finally returns to our screens after a lengthy wait since the Christmas regeneration special. And was it worth it? Erm, no. Sadly, I didn't like this episode at all, and I will expand on that further below. It's nice to have the show back though, and even nicer to see the addition of Doctor Who Extra - a bonus ten minutes of content, online, in a replacement for the much-missed DW Confidential.

My feelings about this first episode of the eighth series of New Doctor Who can, and should, be split into two distinct factions - thoughts on the Doctor himself, and then on his introductory story.

New Doctor Who

I was right there with some of the first people suggesting it was time for Matt Smith to move on. He'd done an awful lot during his time in the TARDIS, and it felt like it was the right time for a change. I was a bit skeptical when Peter Capaldi was first confirmed as the Doctor, way back in the midst of 2013, but willing to give it a shot.

He's a bit older, heaped with gravitas, and clearly a huge fan of the show.

Sadly, this first episode didn't give him the chance to deliver anything, at all. It was a regeneration episode, where he's not himself, that much we have to understand. David Tennant's first episode had him asleep in pyjamas for much of the screen time.

But with DT, there was a big lovely moment of redemption. The Doctor took control, had an epic sword fight and generally won the day. This time, our new Doctor sort of won the day (did he fall or was he pushed?) but it was done sitting down having a cup of tea. After spending a lot of time being dazed, confused and oh-so-ridiculously needy. Maybe this is the new style of Doctor, less sword-fighting, more negotiating. We'll have to wait and see.

I was also a bit disappointed at the lack of real character on display. Ecclestone had that wide-eyed naivety, Tennant that good-looking intensity and Smith that quirky energy. What I got from Capaldi was that he's... Scottish. Hopefully there'll be more to come from this because it wasn't a great start.

Take a deep breath

Many of these problems can be attributed to the episode rather than Capaldi himself, though. I just didn't find this one at all interesting, and even muted it halfway through to record a sixty second podcast instead. The story felt recycled (even though the Doctor spent much of his time admitting that and wracking his brains to figure out why), the characters jumpy and the snippy one-liners felt tired.

Madame Vastra, Jenny and Strax were there, but not really integral to the plot - aside from that rather excellent descent into the fight towards the end. The restaurant scene was well-written and acted, a tough one to have such a long dialogue between actors getting to know each other - but it still didn't really move us forward at all.

The Doctor's need to have Clara like him was so prevalent and whinging at the start, when he was still under the effects of the regeneration, but then when we were supposed to get emotional with him at the end - I didn't buy it. I also thought it was a mistake to have Matt Smith's appearance there. A great cameo and a well-kept secret, but it made me miss what we had and want that back.

I'm disappointed with this opening episode of the new series, and the new era, but not despondent. It wouldn't be fair to judge Capaldi on this episode alone but if things don't pick up in the next one (Daleks!), I might give this series a miss.

From Heartbreak High to Captain America

While we were watching the Captain America sequel recently, there was one face that I felt like I recognised but couldn't quite place. Don't you just hate it when that happens? So distracting. This time, it was one of the S.H.I.E.L.D. henchmen, in it every so often but not exactly a big part. I'm not even sure it was a speaking part.

It turns out this is Callan Mulvey, who used to be Drazic in Heartbreak High. Drazic! In Captain America!

I can't quite believe this is what Drazic grew up to be. Mr C has never even heard of Heartbreak High, but oh the nostalgia. I used to love that show.

Also, this Mr Mulvey has turned out very much like a certain French racing driver that I admire.

Life is weird.

Discovering the joy of cooking

I enjoy cooking a lot, but it’s something I’ve never really managed to get fully into. I had that brief interlude with baking and impressed myself with a couple of dishes, but even that ended up petering out before it really got going.

The trouble I have is that I don’t really have the fundamental basic knowledge to start experimenting and learning and making great things. Without boring details about the meals I have been making up to now, I will say that the famous rut of cycling through a handful of recipes over and over has definitely been reached.

Step forward HelloFresh. They’re a company that, essentially, do all the hard work for you when it comes to choosing recipes, picking ingredients and doing the shopping. All you have to do is cook. I signed up as soon as I heard about them, and was superbly excited to get my first delivery.

After the first week, I have to say, I am totally bowled over.

Let’s break it down, then. HelloFresh offer a variety of boxes – classic, veggie, or family friendly. You can get them for 2 or 4 people, and for 3 or 5 meals. A good selection of options to choose from to start with. The HF team figure out the recipes, and send you only the ingredients that you will need to make them with.

BENEFIT 1 – Far less wastage.

The goodies arrived in a box, veggies and non-fridge items stacked on top of the wrapped refrigerated produce. They have it with ice packs, wrapped in sheep’s wool insulation, so that a) it keeps cool until I get home in the evening to put it away and b) it’s recyclable. As is the cardboard box and pretty much all the packaging.

BENEFIT 2 – Good for the environment.

Opening my first box took ages, because I first had to read every little bit of paper included, and then marvel at the scope and colour of the ingredients. I don’t think I’ve ever bought a sweet potato before, how exciting! The recipes come on nice bits of card, with what the food should look like on the front, and a step by step guide on the back. I have found the instructions to be really useful, although absolute beginners may need a bit of guidance to get started.

BENEFIT 3 – Great recipes.

The first meal I made was rigatoni with cherry tomatoes, chorizo and goat’s cheese. Already, this is the fanciest meal I have ever put together. It all went perfectly, a bit of a faff occasionally because I don’t necessarily have the best tools or a fully decked out kitchen, but otherwise… amazing.

And delicious!

It’s also a step towards the adventurous for me. I hate to be someone who is picky when it comes to food, but I can get weird over textures and complicated items. That’s probably why it was so easy to slip into the recipe rut mentioned above. Here, there’s no choice but to experiment. I won’t pretend there isn’t a backup pizza standing by in case things don’t go to plan, but there’s no harm in giving each and every recipe a go!

I know there will be times when the meals won’t work out right, or they won’t be to our taste, but after just a couple of attempts, I’m addicted. There is a small capacity for meal swapping before the boxes arrive, but sadly not on the plan I have chosen. I love the fact the subscriptions are manageable, you can put your delivery on pause if you’re going on holiday or just need a break.

BENEFIT 4 – Customisable and customer-friendly subscriptions.

It’s still early days, but there are loyalty levels you can work through (after three boxes, I’ll be an apprentice chef!) and a free gift or two thrown into the boxes to tempt you to other suppliers. It just seems like a win-win situation all round. The stress of worrying about what meals to make is taken away, the ingredients come directly to my door, and I get the fun of putting it all together and receiving the compliments when it goes well.

TV talk on structure, series and sequels

I was listening to an episode of Current Geek recently, when a fascinating conversation emerged regarding the structure of television shows and their series’. Current Geek features Scott Johnson and Tom Merritt with guests, discussing pop culture topics. At the end of each episode, they have a feature where they predict what will happen in the future.

I’ll be honest, I usually skip past this section because there’s no way it can live up to the fun of the quiz before it, but this time I listened to the scenario and was intrigued. The episode is available to listen here, with the specific section at about 49 minutes in, but I’ve transcribed the bits that interested me below.

They don’t particularly come to any conclusions, and I don’t know all of the TV shows being mentioned, but I thought it was a great topic to discuss. It starts with Scott introducing this week’s subject.

Scott: US television will start playing the British model of short seasons of longer episodes of higher quality production, think Sherlock for example, where they do it in chunks of three or a series will do six in a row and then nothing for two years while they work on the next series, that sort of thing.

I’m kind of a fan of the way Britain does it, the way the UK does it in general, but I also… you know, I didn’t want LOST to be 12 total episodes, sometimes you want a big, long meaty show to go on for six or seven seasons. So, I feel like there should be a mix. In a way, haven’t we kind of met in the middle with cable shows that are highly thought of, like Mad Men, Breaking Bad, they go for like ten to thirteen episodes. Game of Thrones and so on. Isn’t that kind of a step in that direction? Without completely losing the American model of “pound it into the ground until it’s dead”?

Tom: I think what’s happening here is not so much that we will change the model of how we determine how many episodes there are, but the reason the BBC does that, as far as I can tell, and if anyone knows different please tell me, is because they are not beholden to a broadcast rating game, the way broadcasters are in the US. Because they are supported by the licence fee, right?

So they can say, this story needs to be told over this many episodes, or Sherlock, because of the production value we want, should only be three episodes per season, so we can really make them good. They can pay attention to the needs of the story they’re telling over the needs of marketing and ratings. And the reason we always had 26 episode seasons was because that spread them out over the fall and spring seasons, and if you did enough of those seasons, it made a nice number for syndication.

Those reasons are going away, syndication doesn’t mean what it used to mean. You can syndicate to Netflix, you can syndicate to Hulu, and they don’t care how many episodes are in the season. And we’re already seeing this with things like House of Cards, with things like Orange is the New Black, with HBO shows, where they will sometimes do an eight episode season out of the gate, because they’re just trying it out. Or with Rome, where they were like, we’re just doing two seasons of Rome. That’s it. Because that’s the story we want to tell.

Scott: That’s true. They did kind of end that one on their own terms, didn’t they? But then again, you’ve got a show like Deadwood, which was one of my favourite TV shows of all time, and they just yanked the rug out.

Tom: And that just shows how we haven’t quite got there yet, to where we’re totally independent of that stuff.

Eric: Deadwood’s kind of old, that’s before this whole big TV is awesome thing…

Scott: Well, they were what ’04 to ’06/7?

Tom: They were on the way up.

Eric: But still, not like it is today. Where everybody thinks the content coming from TV is fantastic.

Tom: The best and worst ever, right? Depending on what you’re talking about. You can talk about Breaking Bad, you can talk about Mad Men, you can talk about The Walking Dead and people are like oh, it’s some of the best television ever made, outside of HBO even. And then you can talk about Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty and people are like, television is the worst that it’s ever been.

Scott: It really is polarised now, isn’t it? But think about this. This is one thing that hit me the other day about what’s different about now versus say, let’s say the 80s or even the early 90s, with television. Back then, it was a death nail, except maybe in M*A*S*H’s case to take a successful movie franchise, for example, or movie, and make a TV show out of it. They always failed. We were talking about it on Twitter today, what were some of the examples?

Tom: 9 to 5.

Scott: Ferris Bueller series was terrible.

Eric: There was a Ferris Bueller series?

Scott: It lasted like five minutes, I swear, that thing was terrible. And this happened all the time. I wanna say there was a clueless series in the nineties, I mean all these weird “let’s bring movies home” thing. But lately, A&E’s Psycho series Bates Motel is really good.

Eric: What about, Hannibal?

Scott: Hannibal’s really good. Fargo is amazing. We’re in a different time. These old ideas of “that doesn’t work” is kinda… maybe video games will get to that.

Tom: They’re smarter though. Look at the difference. With M*A*S*H even, which was incredibly successful, and 9 to 5, and Ferris Bueller, they tried to take the movie and turn it into a television show. And everybody’s like, wait a minute, that’s not Matthew Broderick, those aren’t the actors, this isn’t the same story, this is weird.

Whereas what they’re doing with Fargo, what they’re doing with Psycho, is they’re figuring out how to continue the story, in a way that says the movie is still the movie, but we’re going to tell another part of the story that you never saw before.

Scott: Yea, different angle, different time or different characters altogether. Like in the Fargo case, that’s just the universe. It’s the Fargo universe with a whole other story being told and they’ll do that for season two again, a bit like American Horror Story does this.

Tom: They restart every season.

Scott: It’s interesting. There’s an old guy part of me that grew up with the A-Team and shows that I thought were amazing and were just kind of bad, and TV was bad. Now when they said they were turning Fargo into a series, I went ooooh, I don’t know man. That seems weird. But this stuff works now.

The fact that NBC is still making episodes of Hannibal blows my mind, because that is such a non-network thing to do, to make that show. That is so cable, I don’t know how they’re getting away with it, that’s a really good show. I equate TV with garbage now, broadcast TV, I don’t think of anything good on those. I know there’s stuff, but I don’t think of it as good.

Eric: It’s interesting the model we have today, look at Community that got cancelled again but now Yahoo picked them up.

Tom: By the way, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore – award-winning film, turned into the sitcom Alice.

Scott: Oh, I didn’t realise that had anything to do with that. But then they made Flow and ruined it.

Tom: They’ve always got to take it to the Joey level, don’t they?

Scott: Oh they do, dude. The worst offender was The Dukes of Hazzard and the Enos spin-off.

Tom: I think AfterMASH.

Scott: AfterMASH was pretty bad.

Eric: They had Barney Miller, then they did Fish, right?

Tom: I actually liked Fish.

Scott: Fish was alright. They occasionally pull it off, like Frasier is a great example. It was a really good show.

Eric: Frasier was fantastic.

Tom: One of the keys is doing it before the first show is cancelled. Because Joey with Friends and AfterMASH with M*A*S*H, they’re all like well the main show’s been cancelled but we’re trying to save a part of it. Whereas Frasier started before Cheers had ended.

Eric: Cheers was still going on but he wasn’t playing a big part of anymore.

Scott: And they tried to have another one, the spin off from Cheers that no one remembered was The Tortellis, which was Nick Tortelli, who was Rea Purlman’s ex on the show. I remember being excited about it and watching it and going, this isn’t very good. That’s a weird thing you don’t see happen as much anymore. Scrubs ends, but you don’t see Zach Braff doing his character but living at home as a dad, or something dumb like that.

Tom: Breaking Bad, on the other hand, is totally doing this. It’ll be interesting to see. Scott: It’s funny, because you find things to trust, even though it goes against the idea that you think you don’t trust. But because the right people are involved, you’re giving these guys passes. I suppose, that’s a lot of pressure on them.

Tom: They’re kind of doing the same thing as Fargo, where we’re going to live in the universe but we’re not going to try and tell the Breaking Bad story.

Scott: I’m excited for that, we don’t have an air date for that?

Tom: It got delayed. They’ve renewed it for a second season, though, and it hasn’t even been on the air yet.

Scott: Someone went in the future, saw it worked out and came back.