Tag Archives: tv series

Standing In Another Man’s Grave – Ian Rankin

Cantankerous, bloody-minded retired John Rebus is back… not as a Detective Inspector in the Edinburgh police force but working in a Cold Case unit. Rebus wants to reapply for admission back into the Force because the retirement age has been lifted. Unfortunately, Inspector Malcolm Fox, Internal Affairs is investigating Rebus’ unorthodox methods and thinks he […]

Australian series -Tangle

Tangle is the perfect word to describe this incredible Australian drama series. The fabulous array of characters bring to life a believable, emotionally resonant story of family/work life balance using authentic Aussie dialogue. The drama revolves around two strong, sympathetic female characters in Ally (Justine Clarke) and Christine (Catherine McClements), and their often colliding and […]

Happy Accidents

Jane Lynch’s autobiography really sticks to the premise of its title, Happy Accidents. It is a quick & happy read, a delight for avid readers of this genre. Even when she is recalling some of her darker moments like when she heavily used alcohol to deal with her feelings & the long solitary hours she spent alone she is delightfully candid. She likens herself to an archetypical tragic clown – laughing on the outside but highly anxious on the inside.

The first half of the book tells her childhood, growing up with feelings of alienation, depression & struggling with her sexuality. The second half tells her road to acting fame & the funny accidents that have made her the star she is today. Most know her character, Sue Sylvester on Glee but will be less familiar with her earlier work. It was really interesting to read about where she began & her early screen roles & the relationships she has made with other Hollywood people. Even more interesting is when she talks about her prior life before recognisable fame, from when she was hawking rather useless items on the graveyard shift of a home shopping tv show to playing Carol Brady in a live rendition of the Brady Bunch. She recounts these early experiences with pride!

Her life journey so far hasn’t been all fame & fortune, there have been bumps & lessons learned. It has an inspirational message. Lynch comes across as well grounded & has written this book with a well-earned sense of self awareness. I suppose the point of this genre is to show readers who one is behind the screen version. This autobiography lives up to this concept and then some. I really did appreciate her candidness, her self awareness & her honesty. Happy Accidents re-enforces why I so enjoy reading this genre :D

Stories I only tell my friends

A young Rob Lowe knew early on he wanted to be an actor; he was growing up in a tv-saturated environment & became fully aware of the implications of being part of the Hollywood scene. This didn’t deter him rather it inspired him. Fame & fortune surrounded him & being a superstar was there for the taking.

In his autobiography, Stories I only tell my friends, which Lowe claims he is “proud to have written every word” he offers insights into his 3 decade showbiz career. He writes about his start working as a young actor with Tom Cruise & Patrick Swayze in the movie ‘The Outsiders’, the romantic liaisons with Demi Moore & Princess Stephanie of Monaco, his struggles with alcohol & subsequence visits to rehab & his time on the hit tv series ‘The West Wing’.

I really enjoyed the part in which he discusses the gruelling audition process for ‘The Outsiders’ in 1983. He talks of it as being a cattle call with all the young, budding actors being prodded & probed as they compete to win the movie’s lead roles. It was if it was a life & death decision for these young men. Lowe credits the film’s director Francis Ford Coppola with having the most influence on his acting career. He says he learned his craft from the director, “Some actors….go to schools of drama….I learned on the job”.

I also really enjoyed his behind the scenes goss about the time he spent as a cast member on the tv series ‘The West Wing’. He describes his father-son like relationship with Martin Sheen as well as the tension among all of the cast. Very interesting reading. However, he doesn’t go overboard & focus on bad-mouthing his fellow actors like some other celebrity autobiographies do in an effort to boost sales. His book is far more personal.

I found his personal struggles very touching & straight-forward. He certainly has learned some valuable lessons since becoming a father & also as a recovering alcoholic. He writes as if he was having a conversation with the reader, a real strength of the book. It’s serious yet funny & witty & overall makes a good read for spring time on a beach or in a park. In my opinion its better than your average celebrity story & I have read quite a few of them.

Fringe – the tv series

If you enjoy a series that asks you to think outside the box & have an interest in the unexplained & the unknown then I am sure you will find Fringe a real treat. Fringe is a mystery/sci-fi tv series, the title refering to the Fringe Sciences such as teleportation, re-animation, time travel & beyond the universe.

The first episode begins as Flight 627 lands at Boston Airport with no signs of life, just a rather gruesome mess of corpses. A special task force is called into investigate this strange incident, the team is made up of Special Agent Olivia Dunham, Dr Walter Bishop & his genious son Peter Bishop. They form an unlikely team & together discover that what took place on Flight 627 is just the beginning of a number of strange events.

The individual cases explored in each seperate episode combine to form the long term story arc which centres around the ecentric Dr Bishop. He holds many intriguing secrets that start to unravel as each case becomes increasingly stranger.

This series has a tight script & is jam packed with mystery, action, drama, the super-natural and humour. It also boasts some pretty impressive special effects for the small screen. You will get caught up with the bizzare investigations!

Psych: a great TV series, available at the Library

Psych is a great TV series, but for some reason it was shown for about four episodes in Australia and then taken off air.  I’m mentioning it because I think it will be of particular interest to Monk fans, and I know a lot of our blog’s regulars love that show.  Psych and Monk used to […]

Flash Forward – Robert J. Sawyer

For fans of the TV series read the book that started it all.  The book starts with the people of Earth blacking out for two minutes and having visions of their life 21 years in the future.  Lloyd and Theo are partly responsible for causing the blackout through a experiment they are conducting at CERN. These two characters are the […]

The Tudors

This tv series takes a look at the early reign of a young Henry VIII, the 16th Century Tudor King of England. It begins with the King’s plan to wage a war on the French after they have murdered his uncle. Those close to the king are very weary of the prospect of war & strongly advise against such action. Cardinal Thomas Wolsey who is solely preoccupied with his own standing proposes a peace treaty and convinces Sir Thomas More, the king’s most trusted advisor to agree. The King eventually concedes putting the treaty in motion. The drama begins!

Another focus of this series is the King’s turbulent love life. He is married to Catherine, a woman who has been unable to provide him with a much needed male heir. The King gets increasingly frustrated by this & his impatience boils over when he asks the Catholic Church to grant him a divorce. While he waits for the court to deliberate on his divorce demand he is seduced by a beautiful young lady named Anne Boleyn. She is very much encouraged to carry out this seduction by her father who sees this as a sure way to elevate the status of the Boleyn family.

I accept that this series is not entirely historical accurate but I don’t think that matters at all. Sure some of the storylines are rather far fetched but that is what makes it so compelling. It’s not meant to be a historical doco rather its an entertaining adaptation of King Henry VIII & his court.

Each episode is full of unfinished business so I found I would have to watch at least 2 episodes at a time. The costumes are beautiful, the scenery amazing & the script is good. The behind the scenes special features are a real treat as you get an insight into the set design, the costumes and the Irish location where it was filmed. There are 4 seasons of The Tudors, a very enjoyable and entertaining historical drama series.

Vale, Elisabeth Sladen

The sci-fi obsessed sections of the net are in mourning, because the actress Elisabeth Sladen, who played Sarah Jane Smith on Doctor Who and in her more recent spin-off series, Sarah Jane Adventures, has passed away after a lengthy, but private, battle with cancer. Now, I know Nerang Library is a hotbed of Whovianism, because there are […]

A Stephen King novel in a tv series

This tv series was based on the Stephen King novel and a was an interesting use of a book as a basis for a series. The book was also made into a movie in 1983 which starred Christopher Walken. On first glance the series looked like it might be a closed-ending story; lasting only a few episodes. However, the core concept has offered a lot of ongoing storylines. The main character Johnny Smith is a teacher in a small town, nothing special. After a fun filled night at a carnival with his girlfriend, Johnny is involved in a car accident. This accident leaves Johnny in a coma in which he stays in for a number of years. When Johnny wakes up, the world has changed around him. In his absence his girlfriend has had their child and has married someone else. Johnny feels completely lost and alone. Most shockingly though is that Johnny has now got some sort of psychic power allowing him to see the past or future of people he touches. It’s this psychic gift that is the focal point of the series. I liked The Dead Zone tv series because while it did follow the premise of King’s novel it also allowed for contemporary references.

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