Monday, January 18, 2010

45 Minutes Week 3 - Future Viewing

So it's been about three weeks since I started this experiment and a few revelations are starting to come to light regarding my television viewing.

First, I can absolutely devour Homicide.  I've finished the first few seasons without even really trying.  A few other shows have found there way into my home viewing (Chuck and The Simpsons), so in reality I've only spent five or six nights watching Homicide.  Now that I finally have Saturdays off again, the chances of me blowing through an entire season in a weekend is quite probable.

Which comes to the second revelation.  I'm going to need more shit to watch.

On my dvd shelf sits plenty of shows that fit the bill for what I'm trying to accomplish here.  I've got The Sopranos, The Wire, Oz, The Shield, Law and Order's, Veronica Mars, etc.  I could rewatch any number of those and easily fill the next eleven months talking about them.  But I want something new.

I've done some Netflix searching I think I might have hit a few shows worth trying.

Naked City
Filmed in a gritty cinematic style on the streets of New York, this landmark police drama starring Paul Burke and Horace McMahon helped deliver a sense of realism and put a human face on crime by exploring the personal lives of its characters. This comprehensive set includes a string of the show's most memorable episodes, many of which feature guest spots by noted TV and movie actors, including Maureen Stapleton, Aldo Ray and Sandy Dennis.

Crime Story
Kicking off each week with Del Shannon's "Runaway," Michael Mann's cult TV series has retained a fervent following since its premiere in 1986. Set in the early 1960s, the show did away with nostalgia and focused on hard-boiled intensity as Chicago cop Mike Torello (Dennis Farina) aggressively pursued gangster Ray Luca (Anthony Denison). Guest stars include Julia Roberts, Michael Madsen, Pam Grier and Gary Sinise.

When his under-the-table dealings get him fired from a London bank, charismatic con artist Stephen Crane (Oscar nominee Clive Owen, in one of his earliest starring roles) finds work managing the turnaround of a troubled automobile manufacturer. But no matter how desperately Stephen tries to keep his checkered past bound and tethered, it continues to hunt him down.

Exposing the real-life gangland war which raged for over a decade, UNDERBELLY is itself based on the book LEADBELLY: INSIDE AUSTRALIA'S UNDERWORLD by journalists John Silvester and Andrew Rule. This, sometimes fictionalised, account compacts the bitter feud into 13 nail-biting episodes.

The action begins in 1995 when the Melbourne crime syndicate 'the Carlton Crew' dominate the scene. Drug dealing brothers Jason and Mark Moran (Les Hill and Callan Mulvey) emerge as key players, and are kept under the scrutinising eyes of police officers Steve Owen (Rodger Corser) and Jacqui James (Caroline Craig), members of Task Force Purana. When Jason's driver Carl Williams (Gyton Grantley) double-crosses the brothers in a drug scam it sparks off a chain of bloody events; with more double-crossings, alliances made, alliances broken, extortion, hits ordered, killings, avenge killings and numerous spells in prison. With slick production design, and a huge cast of colourful characters interweaving across the show's long time-frame, it's clear why UNDERBELLY has been heralded one of Australia's best ever crime dramas.

Any other suggestions?


  1. Watch the Sweeney. It's a great British cop show from the 70s. Full of awesome guest actors and lots of cool stories. Manages to keep from falling into formula, which is nice. It kind of reminds me of a less evil version of The Shield.

  2. Prime Suspect with Helen Mirren.
    Touching Evil with Robson Green.

    BBC series that fall under the "Mystery" banner, but are more police procedural than Sherlock Holmes. They're both effing brilliant.

  3. I've always heard good things about all of those, and I've always had a thing for Helen Mirren. Don't know why. But those are all going on the Q.

  4. Oh, yes. Helen Mirren. Mmmm. Though she doesn't beat Jenny Agutter for me. I do remember Prime Suspect being good, as well as the little bit of Touching Evil I saw. There was also another Clive Owen series (the first time I ever saw him) called Second Sight that was pretty good.

  5. Columbo.

    Again, more mystery than hard crime. But it's a different take - the open mystery, I think is how Warren Ellis described it - and always smartly done. Plus, cheesy 70s stars as the murderers. What more could one ask for?

  6. I've never heard of Second Sight. Must investigate further.

  7. Figures. Netflix has the second season of Second Sight, but not the first.