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Wibblah (Westminster, London, England)

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White Collar - Season 1 [DVD] [2009] [NTSC]
White Collar - Season 1 [DVD] [2009] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Matt Bomer
Price: £9.00

5 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting idea, poor execution, 3 Nov 2010
If anything this show had all the components of being a hit, but just could not pull it together.

FIrstly, all the situations seem unbelievably contrived. You don't go from being a convict to completely trusted by your 'handler' in a matter of days/weeks. Most of the situations they find themselves in also seem to be far too convenient. Even in the first episode with the main character is able to talk himself into living in a huge apartment will full access after a short chat with a wealthy (but clearly switched on) widow.

Second the plot of each show just seems far fetched and shoe horned into a nice neat package. Of course this is needed for any show in this format, but somehow White Collar makes it looks as if the storywriters have to cut corners everywhere and come up with mindless plot twists to cut to the chase as and when needed. There is only so much you can pretend for the sake of entertainment before switching off. I mean, even at the start you have our hero escaping a max security prison by ordering an exact replica guards uniform in the mail and using a stereo to make an access card?

Third; apparent originality. This would have certain scored higher if it were just that. However, the premise seems drawn from several other shows so you can't really give it credit on this note.

At best this is harmless fun. Something to do when there is really nothing else to do (or watch). But if you only watch small amounts of TV then there is much better fare to spend you time on.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 28, 2014 12:50 PM GMT

by Chris Ryan
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Truly awful, 15 Oct 2010
This review is from: Blackout (Mass Market Paperback)
I mistakenly picked up the watchman a while back and have to say was extremely surprised to have thoroughly enjoyed the book. Ever since I have on occasion picked up a Ryan book to see if it was a one off. Now having read 4 of his books nothing has quite reached the heights of the Watchman, but then they were all still quite readable. Blackout on the other hand seems to have been the utter exception in being utter trash.

I can only assume that the publishers entered some standard plot lines into a machine to generate such a drab and predictable plot. I can't imagine Mr Ryan wanting to put his name to this, it's just so far away from the watchman in quality.

Black Cross
Black Cross
by Greg Iles
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fiction meets non-fiction?, 16 Sep 2010
This review is from: Black Cross (Paperback)
This is the first book by Mr Isles that I have picked up and more than likely my last. For a while I thought I was onto a winner but very quickly was disappointed to find that I didn't care too much for the characters. Stereotyping is awful in most if not all the characters, and frankly too many aspects of the story are far too neatly placed together to allow any suspension of disbelief.

It's almost like this is the first fiction attempt by an author who is determined to stick with a plot at the cost of some rather dull characters. There are far better war time thrillers out there for adult reading. Maybe the only redeeming feature would be that I may have enjoyed this book in my teens, but aside from that nowhere enough depth in either plot or cast.

Men and Cartoons
Men and Cartoons
by Jonathan Lethem
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.46

3.0 out of 5 stars Falling short, 14 July 2010
This review is from: Men and Cartoons (Paperback)
Yes of course I know this is a collection of short stories, but they really are too short by half to be satisfying to anyone. Possibly the author likes to leave us contemplating at the end of each but frankly this is what we pay authors for. Certainly for me there is too little substance and too much, well nothing!

The stories themselves as others have pointed out ranged from seemingly random and often almost dull observations through to some very interesting starting points for stories. They just never quite go on long enough to make you associate with any of the characters.

Probably best avoided unless you fancy some light travel reading you can dip in and out of.

Look To Windward
Look To Windward
by Iain M. Banks
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.36

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just doesn't quite come together, 30 May 2010
This review is from: Look To Windward (Paperback)
If this was the only culture book I had read then I could understand, but for some reason it just didn't flow anywhere like previous attempts. If anything this book could have been written by someone else trying to imitate Banks but clearly lacking the gravitas to really pull you into the plot.

By no means will I stop reading Mr Banks Sci Fi novels, he is clearly an epic talent and so could be forgiven for the odd hiccup at least in my eyes. Clearly it appeals to the mass of the M Banks public so there is much in the book to enjoy. I would argue however that anyone not familiar with his previous culture novels would find this hard going.

Lets hope he reverts to form next time around.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 11, 2010 9:37 AM BST

Merriweather Post Pavilion
Merriweather Post Pavilion
Price: £5.68

6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I don't get it, 4 May 2010
This is one of those albums that I really wanted to love. Granted the first 3 or 4 plays it seemed somewhat random and bizarre, but I persevered. I figured there must be something buried deep in the bowels of the music which I simply did not pick up just yet and it was a matter of attuning myself to pick up what all the other reviews and critics could understand.

Sadly, after listening to this album around 8 times I still can't pick up any threads that I particularly like and I have no inclination of wanting to hit play again.

Clearly this album has struck a chord with many people, I just wish I knew what it was as I am clearly missing out on something.

Dexter - Season 3 [DVD]
Dexter - Season 3 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Michael C. Hall
Price: £12.84

2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Poor showing compared to the first 2 seasons, 27 April 2010
This review is from: Dexter - Season 3 [DVD] (DVD)
I couldn't quite put my finger on why I loved this series when I started watching it. I had certainly not seen anything like it before and the key characters were absolutely fantastic. There was also something very raw about the first season in particular, but the show has lost this edge over every episode since. I felt the second tailed off somewhat seeming to lose it's way and trying to change the formula somewhat perhaps chasing longevity and trying to widen it's appeal? Worst of all, the increasing involvement of that most annoying of all characters - Rita whose scenes I now frankly often forward through - she is just so damn irritating.

That said, it's still good fun but I feel nowhere as great as it once was. Not that I am going to ditch this show just yet but if I had started with the 3rd season I very much doubt I would have got through the first few episodes without giving up entirely.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 24, 2010 3:14 PM BST

Superfreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance
Superfreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance
by Steven D. Levitt
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a spot on the first effort, 7 April 2010
Having now finished the book I recall the first few pages waxing on about how this was not just a sequel but very much something that stood by itself as an accomplishment in itself and was an improvement on the original. I can't disagree more.

If this was written by different author I am sure it would have been slated and quickly disposed of as an attempt to wring more out the same theme. However much I try to see it standing by itself it seems that the authors have sought out a very few valid illustrations to demonstrate their alternative take on economics. Whilst I have to agree "freakonomics" to use their term is extremely interesting, but no more interesting than the first time they introduced it and much less so with stretched examples. Those in the first book were far more entertaining.

Much of the problem I feel stems from the authors using too many prospective examples as opposed to real after the event analysis. They speak of how a novel approach may do this or that - even solve global warming with a cheap but effective solution. These are unproven methods and frankly can be found in journals and across the internet with little effort. What I found interesting in the first book and for only a handful of illustrations in the second was their ability to explain tangental views of problems in their entirety, specifically including what worked and demonstrating how a different path of exploration would have solved a problem faster or explained the statistics at hand. Instead there are far too many pie in the sky ideas.

I devoured the first book and despite this attempt would still pick up any future writings. I have to believe that this book was not just a search for more money but was painstakingly researched and written with best intentions. It just suffers from lack of enough interesting materiel and has been done with slightly different takes in other books enough times for a sequel to no longer be required.

The Big Bang Theory - Season 1 [DVD] [2009]
The Big Bang Theory - Season 1 [DVD] [2009]
Dvd ~ Johnny Galecki
Price: £6.75

7 of 35 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing intelligent about this comedy, 28 Mar 2010
I have to fall in with the minority of other reviews here. This is at best something to eat up some time when you can't do anything else. I have due to frequent traveling managed to catch a few episodes on long haul flights but would never seek it out if given alternatives.

Essentially it seems to be a take on the IT Crowd with some characters with (apparently) higher IQ's. Each episode follows a bunch of geeks in their never ending quest to meet girls whilst the rest of the world pokes fun at their inability to relate to normal people and situations.

I really don't understand the high ratings it's been given however, since each episode aside from the setting seems no different to any other below average US sitcom. The jokes are heavily led-in and sometimes painfully unfunny on the whole, but on occasion warrant a laugh. I can only put this down to some problems with the Amazon recommendation engine; clearly most people love this show which is great but for me this is really filling time at best.

Breaking Bad: Season 1 [DVD] [2008] [2009]
Breaking Bad: Season 1 [DVD] [2008] [2009]
Offered by Sent2u
Price: £10.00

11 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Above average, but that's about it, 28 Mar 2010
I tend to be a little harsh in my ratings, but then again I would rather read a book than watch something that is not worth seeing. By those standards this is certainly watchable, and on that basis good, but that is about it. It certainly doesn't scale any heights and come near the highs of the Soprano's or West Wing, either in terms of character development or plot.

The premise and plot layout whilst seemingly original does seem a little formulaic. When I am watching episodes I get a sense of deja vu, but struggle to put my finger on one aspect of the show that does this.

I think the real problem with the show is that it doesn't quite mix all the genres as seamlessly as it would like. Personally I think it could do with being a bit darker and funnier. As it is, some of the daily more mundane aspects of life which are there presumably to anchor the show with audiences day to day just make the show drag too often to make it truly gripping. Having purchased the first season I frequently found myself flicking forward through protracted dialogue and yet not really missing anything important.

All in all, much better than 90% of what's on TV and by the ratings it's been given really hits home with many. For me, it's not quite enough to motivate me to purchase the second season.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 3, 2014 11:29 AM GMT

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