Ken Dodd Tribute

Ken Dodd Tribute

The word, legend, gets thrown around a lot, but that is a perfectly fitting word to describe Sir Ken Dodd. The legendary comedian passed away in the early hours of this morning at the grand old age of 90, and he was still performing nationwide tours every year- an incredible feat! Immediately identifiable by his messy hair, his protruding teeth, joyous personality, and his red, white and blue “tickling stick”. He has entertained audiences for over 50 years.

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Berlin Station Season 2 ★★★★☆

Berlin Station Season 2 (2017) ★★★★☆
Channel: Epix
Starring: Richard Armitage, Rhys Ifans, Leland Orser, Michelle Forbes, Richard Jenkins, Ashley Judd, Keke Palmer, John Dorman, Mina Tander, Thomas Kretschmann, Emilia Schule, Heino Ferch
Creator: Olen Steinhauer
Humpo Show Rating: 8.5

Image result for berlin station season 2 rhys ifans

Daniel Miller (Richard Armitage) is tasked with infiltrating a far-right German political party that the CIA believe is planning a terrorist attack in the lead up to the upcoming election in order to swing the vote in the PfD’s way. This clandestine operation is done under the new leadership of Berlin Station Chief BB Yates (Ashley Judd), and without informing the American Ambassador to Germany Richard Danes (John Dorman). Deception is the name of the game, with multiple players keeping their cards close to their chests, and this ambiguity keeps tensions high and the show manages to maintain suspense to the very final scenes.  Continue reading

The Office (US version) ★★★★★

The Office US
Seasons 1-9 (2005-13) ★★★★★
Channel: NBC
Starring: Steve Carell, John Krasinski, Rainn Wilson, Jenna Fischer, Ed Helms, B. J. Novak, Craig Robinson, Leslie David Baker, Brian Baumgartner, Kate Flannery, Angela Kinsey, Oscar Nunez, Phyllis Smith, Mindy Kalling, Paul Liberstein, Creed Bratton, Ellie Kemper, James Spader, Catherine Tate
Creators: Greg Daniels, Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant

The US version of The Office has become one of my favourite TV shows of all time, it comfortably sits in my Top 3 Sitcoms, F.R.I.E.N.D.S and Only Fools and Horses are the other two, and it not only sustains the brilliant comedy value for 200-odd episodes, but it also manages multiple personal storylines perfectly, and the finale is both fitting and in keeping with the whole show.

Michael Scott, Dwight Schrute, Jim Halpert, Pam Beesly, Stanley Hudson, Ryan Howard, Andy Bernard, Kevin Malone, Meredith Palmer, Angela Martin, Oscar Martinez, Phyllis Lapin, Kelly Kapoor, Toby Flenderson, Creed Bratton, Darryl Philbin and Erin Hannon were characters that made us laugh, cry and fall in love with. Each of them were different and special in their own way, and that is what made The Office a truly exceptional comedy. 

*SOME SPOILERS FOR THOSE THAT HAVEN’T WATCHED THE OFFICE*

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The Crown Season 1 (2016) ★★★★★

The Crown Season 1 (2016) ★★★★★
Channel: Netflix
Starring: Claire Foy, Matt Smith, Vanessa Kirby, John Lithgow, Jared Harris, Jeremy Northam, Victoria Hamilton, Ben Miles, Eileen Atkins, Alex Jennings, Pip Torrens
Creator: Peter Morgan
Humpo Show Rating | 9.2

The Crown is a biographical story of Queen Elizabeth II, and the early part of her reign. It is the brainchild of Peter Morgan, responsible for the Oscar-winning The Queen, and follows Elizabeth’s early days as Queen, the relationship she has with her husband, sister, Prime Minister and the people. It gives a fascinating insight into Buckingham Palace, and the goings-on that occurred during times of strife and joy in the late 40s and early 50s. A truly excellent drama that has seen Foy and Lithgow rightly receive awards for their acting. Continue reading

Blue Planet 2 ★★★★★

Blue Planet II ★★★★★
Channel: BBC One
Narrator: David Attenborough
Music: Hans Zimmer

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BBC + Attenborough + Nature = Incredible Documentary.

This winning formula proves to be a hit once again as the national treasure and tireless naturalist Sir David Attenborough narrates Blue Planet IIBlue Planet II is the sequel to the marine documentary Blue Planet which was made 16 years previous, winning both a BAFTA and Emmy. In 2001, the series was described as “the first ever comprehensive series on the natural history of the world’s oceans”, and it featured marine life and behaviour, never before been filmed. The 2017 series is the epitome of dedication as filming took over the course of more than 4 years; involving 125 expeditions across 39 countries and produced more than 6,000 hours of underwater dive footage from over an estimated 4000 dives.   Continue reading

Homeland Season 6 (2017) ★★★☆☆

Homeland Season 6 (2017) ★★★☆☆
Channel: Showtime
Starring: Claire Danes, Rupert Friend, Elizabeth Marvel, F. Murray Abraham, Mandy Patinkin
Humpo Show Rating | 6.8

Season 6 was undoubtedly been the weakest of the 6 seasons so far, a story-line that had some brilliant foresight through the various similarities that has mimicked the current state of affairs in the United States. Things such as the slogan “NOT MY PRESIDENT” that is espoused in the wake of Donald Trump’s election, the Fake News campaign that has become part and parcel of the current administration, with Presidents Trump and Keane both perceiving it to be a real threat to them. These expert foresights were probably the highpoints of the show, as it was very interesting to see how Homeland differed and how it was similar to the current state of things. Continue reading

Game of Thrones Season 7 (2017)

Game of Thrones Season 7 (2017) ★★★★★
An Episode-By-Episode Review
Channel : HBO
Starring : Kit Harrington, Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner, Conleth Hill, Aidan Gillen, Liam Cunningham, Carice van Houten, Nathalie Emmanuel, Gwendoline Christie, John Bradley, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Kristofer Hivju, Rory McCann, Jerome Flynn, Iain Glenn, Richard Dormer, Jim Broadbent, Dianna Rigg, Jacob Anderson, Pilou Asbaek, Vladimir Furdik.
Humpo Show Rating | 9.5

Another stellar season. Winter is truly here!

[MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!] Continue reading

Fargo Season 3 (2017) ★★★★☆

Fargo Season 3 (2017) ★★★★☆
Channel: FX
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Carrie Coon, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, David Thewlis, Michael Stuhlbarg, Andy Yu, Olivia Sandoval, Russell Harvard
Humpo Show Rating | 8.5

Stellar performances from cast and fantastic musical scores

Fargo once again impresses in its latest instalment, this time focusing on a feud between the Stussy brothers (both played by Ewan McGregor), the various murders that stack up, and the taking over of Emmit Stussy’s parking lot business by shady character V. M. Varga (David Thewlis). Continue reading

House of Cards Season 5 (2017) ★★★★☆

House of Cards Season 5 (2017) ★★★★☆
Channel: Netflix
Starring: Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, Michael Kelly, Campbell Scott, Patricia Clarkson, Derek Cecil, Neve Campbell, Paul Sparks, Joel Kinnaman, Dominique McElligott, Boris McGiver, Korey Jackson.
Humpo Show Rating | 8.0

Claire is centre stage.

The President of the United States of America is at the centre of a scandal that potentially could end his presidency. His single-mindedness and power-drunk personality seem capable of bursting the Oval Office at its seams, he is a hated figure among his opponents, his own Party, and the public, yet he is an elected individual that holds the most powerful office on Earth. Sound familiar? Continue reading

TV Review | The Blacklist (Season 4)

The Blacklist (Season 4)
Channel: NBC
Starring: James Spader, Megan Boone, Diego Klattenhoff, Ryan Eggold, Harry Lennix, Amir Arison, Mozhan Marno, Hisham Tawfiq, Susan Blommaert, Ulrich Thomsen, Enrique Murciano.

Humpo Show Rating | 4.25 / 5

Truth will out.

Red is under attack. First by long-time adversary Alexander Kirk, and then later in the season, by a trusted friend and key part of his organisation who knows every aspect of his life intimately. Elizabeth and the Task-Force continue doing what they do best again this season, tracking down blacklisters, while also furthering Reddington’s personal and criminal agenda. Criminals aplenty, incredibly high-stakes, and fierce confrontations are the order of the day for Season 4 of The Blacklist. Fascinating viewing.   Continue reading

TV Review | Gap Year

Gap Year
Channel: E4
Starring: Anders Hayward, Ade Oyefuso, Brittney Wilson, Alice Lee, Tim Key

Humpo Show Rating | 4.25 / 5

Channeling similar vibes to that of successful Channel 4 comedies, The Inbetweeners and Fresh Meat, Gap Year is a new comedy that is shown on E4 about a merry band of travelers that have gone to Asia separately but fate has brought them together for hilarious hi-jinks and nincompoopery. A comedy well worth a watch.

The series follows the funny five-some across Asia, each episode is in a different country, as the group struggle with the usual travelling problems – language barriers, food poisoning, misunderstandings with locals, and the inevitable bust-ups with friends – all familiar to anyone that has traveled with friends and strangers. But what separates this merry band of travelers from any other is the extraordinary mishaps, dangers and mistakes that they make, whether that is shooting a friend with a poisoned dart or blowing up an orphanage! The Gap Year writers has tapped into an untapped comedy setting that helps to establish its own identity and to make it more memorable among an audience. The closest to come to it was the Inbetweeners 2 film that seen that gang “travel” around Australia. Despite that having more laughs-per-minute, Gap Year has a more solid story-line as well as story arcs for all of the characters that seem to develop with every episode which is a credit to the writers and the actors who have managed to make the viewers care about their personal struggles that many keep a secret for much of the series. Continue reading

TV Review | Homeland (Season Five)

Homeland Season Five

Channel: Showtime
IMDb Rating: 8.4 (Overall) 
Starring: Claire Danes, Rupert Friend, Mandy Patinkin, Tracy Letts, F. Murray Abraham, Sebastian Koch.  

The Humpo Show Rating | 4 / 5

The game has changed for Carrie Mathison. Out of the CIA and living in Berlin, Carrie is trying to start a new life but realizes now she’s the one with a target on her back. As the danger intensifies, and without Saul and Quinn to rely on, one thing becomes clear – she’s never been at greater risk or with more to lose. (Rotten Tomatoes)

* Previous Season Spoilers Ahead * Continue reading

TV Review | Homeland (Season Four)

Homeland (Season Four)

Channel: Showtime
IMDb Rating: 8.4 (Overall)
Starring: Claire Danes, Rupert Friend, Mandy Patinkin, Nazanin Boniadi, Laila Robins, Tracy Letts.

Humpo Show Rating | 4.5 / 5

Season 4 of the spy drama begins with Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) working as the CIA Chief of Station in Kabul, Afghanistan, where she receives an urgent intelligence report from her counterpart in Islamabad on the whereabouts of terrorist Haissam Haqqani (Numan Acar) in Pakistan. Carrie orders an assault against him, but her actions result in the deaths of 40 civilians attending a wedding at the same location. Consequently, CIA director Andrew Lockhart (Tracy Letts) recalls her back to the US. However, a major scandal casts shadows over Lockhart’s actions. Meanwhile, Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) struggles to adjust to life in the private sector; and Carrie learns that Haqqani may have survived the initial attack, which could lead to deadly consequences for everyone involved. (Rotten Tomatoes)

* Major Spoilers From Previous Seasons Ahead* Continue reading

TV Review | Berlin Station

Berlin Station
Channel: Epix
Starring: Richard Armitage, Rhys Ifans, Richard Jenkins, Michelle Forbes, Leland Orser, Tamlyn Tomita.

Humpo Show Rating | 4.5 / 5

We are Thomas Shaw…

Thomas Shaw, an Edward Snowden-esque whistle-blower, has decided to target the CIA’s Berlin Station by leaking some of the station’s secrets to the press, and thus, creating a multitude of problems for the various players of the station. Each of the main characters display signs of shiftiness and secrecy concerning their actions which makes for intriguing viewing as their is a underlying sense of unpredictability throughout the season. For those who enjoy Homeland and Spooks, Berlin Station delivers an interesting and exciting spy thriller that ticks all the boxes as well as conveying a modern day message concerning espionage and the institutions.   Continue reading

TV Review | Westworld (No Spoilers!)

Westworld
Channel: HBO
Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Evan Rachel Woods, Jeffrey Wright, Thandie Newton, Ed Harris, Jimmi Simpson, James Marsden and Ben Barnes.

Humpo Show Rating | 5 / 5

These violent delights have violent ends…

Westworld was planned to be the show that will take over the mantle from Game of Thrones as HBO’s leading show once Thrones finishes its final two seasons. However, due to the incredible debut season and cracking season finale, Westworld will be challenging Thrones for the critical acclaim this year due to the stellar casting, complex storylines and the phenomenal twists and turns that kept the audience guessing and theorising.  Continue reading

Before The Flood | Climate Change Documentary

Before The Flood 
4.5 / 5
IMDb Rating: 8.4
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, James Packer, Brett Ratner, Trevor Davidoski and Jennifer Davisson Killoran.

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio meets with scientists, activists and world leaders to discuss the dangers of climate change and possible solutions. A fascinating overview of the effects that climate change has already had and the ones that are to come. With a combination of interviews and trips to the Artic, India, Miami, Beijing and small islands, there has been a detailed investigation into a wide range of places and the effects that climate change has had on them. Although it is a serious documentary, it is produced in a cinematic and provocative manner, the music, DiCaprio’s monologues and the use of Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights Continue reading