Category:Comedy

Monty Python Live (Mostly): A Good Laugh and a Fond Farewell

Disclaimer: I am a life-long Monty Python fan so this post is very unlikely to be an objective account of the simulcast I am about to tell you about. That being said, yesterday I had the privilege of witnessing a very special event indeed – Monty Python Live (Mostly): One Down, Five to Go.

As you’ve undoubtedly heard, the legendary Monty Python’s Flying Circus comedy troupe reunited after over 30 years away from the stage for a limited run of ten live shows at London’s O2 arena. For those of us who weren’t in the vicinity or couldn’t get their hands on a ticket, the Pythons kindly consented to turn their very last show into a worldwide party by live streaming the event to cinemas around the world and to UK residents on the Gold channel as well.

It was great to gather in a movie theater with other Python fans, people who know, love and, in many cases, can recite the sketches verbatim. If you’ve ever watched Monty Python with the uninitiated you may well know the confused scowls and the bewildered lament of “I don’t get it.” There was none of their ilk in the seats yesterday. Who’s going to pay $18 to watch a bunch of septuagenarians being silly on stage without being obsessively familiar with their body of work after all?

Category:Other

Telly Visions at San Diego Comic Con 2014

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Yes, the dog days of July are upon us, when entertainment enthusiasts everywhere gather in Southern California for the best weekend of the year, when we all put on costumes and revel in whatever various forms of geekery we most enjoy. Yes, I’m headed back to San Diego Comic Con International this weekend, so bear with us if the blog is a bit quiet this weekend.

While I’m technically going for fun once again this year (and with the hopes that it’ll take my mind off things to be quite honest), there’s no reason that I still can’t report back to everyone about all the relevant and exciting Brit-related news from this year’s convention.

Sadly, there are no Doctor Who or Sherlock panels to be had this year, but rumor has it a host of British celebs will be in San Diego promoting their latest projects, which will include appearances by such famous faces as Colin Firth, Daniel Radcliffe and more – including, yes, even Benedict Cumberbatch.

Expect a full report next week, but in the meantime make sure you're following the blog on Twitter, because if I manage to see or do anything exceptionally awesome, that's likely where you'll see it first. (If you just want to see photos of my TARDIS dress and me sitting in various massive lines for things, you can find my personal account here.)

Category:Movies

Get Your First (Two) Look(s) at Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley in ‘The Imitation Game’

World War II biopic The Imitation Game – which tells the story of British codebreaker, genius and general hero Alan Turing - has been a buzzy project for months now, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the release of the film’s first trailer has been met with rapturous reviews.

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch – well known for his ability to portray complicated genius types like Stephen Hawking, Vincent Van Gogh and Julian Assange – plays Turing, joined by an all-star cast comprised of British acting heavyweights, including the Oscar-nominated Keira Knightley, Game of Thrones’ Charles Dance, Downton Abbey’s Allen Leech, Mark Strong, Rory Kinnear, Matthew Goode, Matthew Beard and more. 

Learn  - and watch both (fantastic) new trailers – below. 

Category:Culture

Watch the Queen’s Guards Play the ‘Game of Thrones’ Theme Song at Buckingham Palace

So, Queen Elizabeth probably doesn’t have a Ser Barristan the Bold of her own outside Buckingham Palace, but the Queen’s Guards are apparently big fans of fantasy drama Game of Thrones anyway.

We know this because during a recent Changing of the Guards ceremony at Buckingham Palace, the band suddenly burst into a rousing rendition of the HBO series’ incredibly recognizable theme tune. (For those that don’t know the band traditionally performs a song during the ceremony, which takes place daily in the summer at 11:30am.)

It’s awesome. And thankfully a quick bystander recorded it and put it on YouTube

Five Benedict Cumberbatch Performances You Can Stream Online - That Aren't 'Sherlock'

Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes. But we've all already seen that, right? (Photo: Hartswood Films for MASTERPIECE) The actor who plays everyone's favorite consulting detective is turning 38 today (July 19), and but why restrict yourself to celebrating Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch on just one day? (Confession time: I certainly do not.) We’ve already covered Cumberbatch’s extensive acting catalogue in our British Actors You Should Know series (which, honestly, is already a bit out of date thanks to his grueling movie making schedule), so it seemed more appropriate to spend today highlighting the ways you can most easily get your celebratory Cumberfix. Which, of course, means the stuff you can watch on the internet.

[Serious time: If you really want to do something special for Cumberbatch’s birthday besides dehydrate yourself watching Third Star, stop by the Batch of Kindness hashtag on Twitter (#batchofkindness) and take part in a global effort to do something nice for someone else. It’s pretty cool.]

Now, back to binge watching.

But, I’ve seen Sherlock, you say. It can’t possibly get better than that. Well, that’s wrong, and we’re here to give you five options of Cumberbatch-filled films and TV programs that you can stream online right now. (Yes, yes, there are a lot more than this, but they aren’t all online, so they’re not as easy to locate.)

Category:Drama

Watch: The Creepy New Trailer for 'The Fall' Series 2

BBC Two has released the first trailer for the The Fall’s highly anticipated second season and it’s actually possible that this one is even creepier than the first. Dark and foreboding, it really makes you wonder what we’ve got to look forward to in Series 2.

The crime drama – which stars Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan  - tells the story of DSI Stella Gibson, a hard, but talented detective who is on the trail of a serial murderer who’s been targeting young professional women. However, thanks to the twist that makes this show more interesting than your average procedural, we already know that the killer is Paul Spector (Dornan), an unassuming everyman with a charming wife and family at home. 

Things will pick back up right where we left at the end of last year, with Dornan’s serial killer Paul fleeing Belfast with his family in town, narrowly avoiding capture by DS Gibson. Additionally, Merlin star Colin Morgan has joined the cast for Series 2, playing an officer who will work closely with Gibson on the investigation

Watch the new trailer for yourselves below.

Category:Online

The 'Doctor Who' 50th Anniversary Special Redone in LEGO is Everything

Making LEGO versions of things has become a popular trend in fannish circles over the last few years (spurred on, no doubt, by the financial and critical success of The LEGO Movie, which is basically what it says on the tin). You have a favorite show or movie? Chances are, some uber-creative soul out there has LEGO-ized it for you, whether it’s bits from Sherlock episodes or Star Trek trailers or the Downton Abbey estate or  The Hobbit redone with mini-figures

Now someone has re-done last year’s Doctor Who 50th anniversary block-for-block and it is incredible. 

Category:Drama

'Last Tango in Halifax' Mid-Series Recap: Discuss the Dramatic Twists of Series 2

Like many of you, I’ve been faithfully watching  Series 2 of Last Tango in Halifax, a late-in-life romance/family drama. But half way through last Sunday’s episode I started to wonder why we haven’t done recaps of this exceedingly chat worthy show. I won’t lie, more than once I’ve rolled my eyes at the constant barrage of melodramatic circumstances that have befallen the Buttershaw/Dawson clan. But I’ve also witnessed authentic family dynamics that ring so true I feel that they are speaking directly to me. In my opinion, the merits outweigh the soap opera elements. In fact, I liken it to a more serious and decidedly adult-themed Brady Bunch for our time.

So Last Tango fans, here’s my rehash of the most important developments in the very eventful lives of our favorite West Yorkshire residents. So far this series has boiled down to three major themes: estrangement, money and babies.

Category:Drama

American Maggie Gyllenhaal Does Her Best British Accent in ‘The Honourable Woman’ This July

BBC Two political thriller The Honourable Woman will be making its way to America later this month, where we’ll all get to see the very American Maggie Gyllenhaal give us her best attempt at a British accent. American ladies doing British drama seems to be quite the thing now, what with actresses like Gillian Anderson and Elisabeth Moss crossing the pond to headline various dramas (The Fall and Top of the Lake, respectively).

In this eight-part drama, Gyllenhaal stars as Nessa Stein, and the Academy Award nominee is joined by an all-star cast that includes The Shadow Line’s Stephen Rea, Doctor Who’s Lindsay Duncan, The White Queen’s Janet McTeer, Broadchurch’s Andrew Buchan, The IT Crowd’s Katherine Parkinson and many more. 

Category:Drama

Is 'Endeavour' Just the Beginning? Other British TV Characters That Should Get a Prequel

Endeavour has recently returned to Masterpiece Mystery for a second series and I must say I find it to be the most compelling show on PBS’ very British Sunday night line-up.  So far DC Morse (Shaun Evans) has solved intricate cases dealing with beauty queens, ancient artifacts, a boarding school for girls and a century’s old mass murder. In addition, I’m looking forward to discovering how the Freemasons play into all the mayhem being unleashed in Oxford.

As advertised when it first aired last summer, Endeavour is the origin story of the beloved Inspector Morse, who was played by the late John Thaw in the orignial series of the same name. This prequel is not only an opportunity to allow fans of the original series to see Morse solve a few more murders, but a peek into the past to discover how the promising young Endeavour developed into the brilliant but somewhat sullen detective he became. We get to witness his growing affinity for opera and drink, as well as get a glimpse of some people who will follow him through his police career. Fans love little homages like that and new viewers get to meet a well-written character with a definite destiny ahead of him.

The concept of the prequel got me to thinking about other series that might want to employ this narrative device. While some shows are all about character development and uncovering the layers, so to speak, there are other personalities that are so mysterious, eccentric or enigmatic you can’t help wondering how they got that way. 

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