TV Series

  • Fast Five Review: Catching Milat (2015)

    CatchingMilat

    Review by Naomi

    1. Did you like it?

    Yes and no.

    2. Why/Why not?

    Catching Milat is a mini-series following the police task force who investigated and ultimately apprehended Australian serial killer, Ivan Milat, for the murders of seven backpackers found murdered in Belanglo State Forest. No spoilers there, it’s one of the most famous series of murders in Australian history and I well remember the huge television news coverage during the investigation in the early-mid 90s. Malcolm Kennard played a truly menacing Milat, depicted as a man of few words but menacingly so. The story unfolds at different timelines, revealing incidents out of chronological order, but in order of their discovery by police. This thriller does have a heaping helping of suspense, I honestly wondered if he was going to get away with it, even though I know the true story.

    In the second half of the mini-series, the focus is on Detective Paul Gordon in the task force who continuously disregards orders from his superiors on how to carry out the investigation, jeopardising the case a few times – this was a tiring story arch. He was arrogant and had no apparent reason to take the case so personally. Perhaps the reason this didn't ring true is because it wasn't, it is factually incorrect.  This detective was not as involved in the real life investigation as the mini-series portrays but poetic licence is always a possibility in true crime adaptations.  For the most part it was well shot, but the overused slow motion used during the arrest scene and other scenes right at the end lacked substance – there wasn’t enough going on to justify such a long sequence. Yes it was the resolve of the investigation, but it was hardly climactic.

    3. "You would enjoy this movie if..."

    …you like true crime.

    4. "This series made me think..."

    No hitch hiking for me!

    5. Stars out of five?

    2

  • Fast Five Review: Derek Season 1 (2013)

    DerekS1

    Reviewed by Paul

    1. Did you like it?

    Yes

    2. Why/Why not?

    Derek is a mellow comedy/drama with a good balance of laughs and tear jerking moments. It serves as a commentary of what is important in life and shines a spotlight on the roles which are carried out by the hidden heroes who society seldom acknowledges.

    3. "You would enjoy this movie if..."

    This series is quite different to other Ricky Gervais written shows. However it will appeal to his fans and others who like heart warming stories with laughs thrown in.

    4. "This series made me think..."

    Of the role of kindness in society and the unfortunate way in which some of the most necessary positions in society are under valued.

    5. Stars out of five?

    4.5

  • Fast Five Review: Penny Dreadful Season 1 (2014)

    PennyDreadfulSeason1

    Reviewed by Nick

    1. Did you like it?

    Yes.

    2. Why/Why not?

    Victorian London complete with vampires, monsters, and deals with the devil. With new twists on familiar characters it makes the setting accessible for those new to the genre as well as those who are old hands. There are innumerable incarnations of vampires, demons, and mad scientists set within a reasonably faithful depiction of 19th century London.

    3. This TV series made me think …

    Of Pride and prejudice and zombies.

    4. You would like this series if …

    You are a fan of traditional horror stories and unconventional period pieces. Penny Dreadful were originally cheap stories produced for the increasingly literate British working classes of the time. You can find many example through Project Guttenberg.

    5. Stars out of five?

    Four

  • Fast Five Review: Vikings Season 1 (2013)

    VikingsS1

     

    1. Did you like it?

    Yes

    2. Why/Why not?

    I have been meaning to get into Vikings because I'd heard it was a great show.  The first couple of episodes were a bit disappointing, but by the third I was hooked.  It follows the exploits of Ragnar Lodbrok, a viking who dares to lead raiders to the west against the wishes of the leader of his clan, Earl Haraldson.  I loved getting to know the characters, particularly the women who actually had some depth fleshed out - which is uncommon in these kinds of stories.  It was also interesting to learn, bit by bit, about the priest as he learns about the foreign gods of the vikings, all the while trying to hold to his own faith.

    3. You would enjoy this TV Series if…

    ...you like action and political intrigue!  The costumes are great, the scenery had me pining for the Fjords, and the actor who plays the main character, Ragnar Lodbrok is Aussie Travis Fimmel.  The Vikings seem largely ignored in recent movies and pop culture, so it's nice to see this immersive story.

    4. This TV Series made me think…

    ...that shieldmaidens were cool.  It also prompted me to look up how much of the series is historically correct - my inner history nerd.

    5. Stars out of five?

    A solid 4.

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