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B. Russell

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Outnumbered - Series 5 [DVD]
Outnumbered - Series 5 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Claire Skinner
Price: £6.60

10 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Final Bow, 7 Feb. 2014
This review is from: Outnumbered - Series 5 [DVD] (DVD)
Outnumbered, over the last 7 years, has shown us the lives of the ever-challenged Brockman family, and every series has had individual charm. While the earlier series played on the young innocence, this final series works as the humour originates from Ben and Jake's attempts to be mature, and Karen's attempts to to fit in with secondary school.

Two things make this the programme it is: the script and the VERY talented cast. The script, part written and part improvised, exposes the stanard british family to watch and the humour comes from the range of topic discussed, ranging from broken prisoners, football and the deep psychology of Sigmund Freud. The comedy works so well because we relate to the daily mishaps of the Brockman family with a poignant realism. The cast is also excellent, and while I love many three performances really stand out. Firstly, Ramona Marquez as Karen: the quirkly 11-year-old with more maturity than any adult, Tyger Drew-Honey: a fit young man desperatly seeking maturity, and most impressivley Claire Skinner, the ever stressed mum. Without the amazing cast, this series would never have worked - the relationship between them all is excellent and provides much of the humour in this series - for example Jake trying to persuade his mum to be more strict and Karen's reaction to losing a swimming competition.

Many thought that this series would not work, as the main stars - the children - had grown too old to provide the humour the sitcom is famous for. Although this humour remains, it is to an extent lesser. However a new, equally unique, humour has replaced it with the slightly-older children and the series still works amazingly well, and observes a unique sense of individuality. It's a shame that the series is ending but this was an excellent way to bow out - an excellent sitcom well worth it's weight in gold!

Call the Midwife - Series 3 [DVD]
Call the Midwife - Series 3 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Miranda Hart
Price: £7.49

18 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgic and heartwarming - perfect drama!, 2 Feb. 2014
Call the Midwfe, without a doubt, is one of the best new drama's to come out of the BBC in the last decade. Each episode takes us on a nostalgic trip to Popla, a world quite forgotten world in History, but a world of bueaty and nostalgia. Two things make this drama the thing it is: 1) the setting and 2) the relationship between the charecters, bought on by an excellent cast. Miranda Hart and Jessica Raine specifically are amazing in this programme, and have recieved many awards for their portrayals of the hard working midwives in 19th century Britain. Also the setting is nostalgic, and the drama has been very well costructed by the producers and scritpwriters.

I would myself say that this series is even better than the previous, which was very positivley rated. The television ratings themselves are extremley appealing - at least 10 million of us are tuning in a week to watch this excellent drama. On paper, this drama does not seem revolutionary - but it's feel and excellent cast make it something many others are not: heartwarming - and I bet once you watch one episode you will be glued until you have watched the entire series.

Call the Midwife thoroughly deserves the accolades it has been awarded, and is one not to miss. This DVD is definitaly one to go for: take a nostalgic, memorable trip to Popla; full of drama, humour and a sense of pure innocence,
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 22, 2014 9:40 PM GMT

Doc Martin Series 6 [DVD]
Doc Martin Series 6 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Martin Clunes
Price: £14.34

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best, 26 Jan. 2014
This review is from: Doc Martin Series 6 [DVD] (DVD)
Over the last decade I have thoroughly enjoyed Doc Martin - and this last series was no different. The day-to-day life of Doc Martin set against bueatiful cornwall landscapes is perfect for anyone having a night in with their partner, or a nice big cup on hot chocolate! Even though many things make this series work there is one that stands out specifically - the fantastic Martin Clunes, who plays grumpy Doc Martin. The personality he brings to that charecter is excellent, and I'm sure anyone else and the show would not have been the success it has. Clunes just brings that grumpy edge to the charecter that makes the audience love him and hate him in equal measure at the same time!

The setting of the drama is great too! You feel like you are being whisked away to cornwall for an hour, and its slightly dissapointing when you have to return (good thing there is a whole set of episodes). Of course with any long running programme, if you already have Series 1-5 buy this, if you don't you are better off going for the entire Series 1-6 collection. Personally, I think this is one of the best drama's of the decade, and this was epitomised by Martin Clunes' nomination for Outstanding Drama Performance at the recent National Television Awards.

An excellent drama, perfect for everyone. Hope there is much more to come!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 30, 2014 5:08 AM GMT

Death in Paradise - Series 3 [DVD] [2014]
Death in Paradise - Series 3 [DVD] [2014]
Dvd ~ Kris Marshall
Price: £7.99

40 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kris Marshall is a new ray of sunshine, 23 Jan. 2014
Like every other person, when I heard Ben Miller was leaving the series I was wondering if it could continue on at the same standard as the two previous series. However, I have know been proven a right idiot for worrying as Kris Marshall, who plays the new DI Humphrey Goodman, is a great addition to the programme. I think it is good that the producers decided not to make a carbon copy of Miller, as Marshall brings a new dynamic to the show. Marshall in some ways the same, but in someways opposite to the old detective - they both have their own quirky methods, but Poole was much more organised! It's not to say that I don't miss Miller, but Marshall brings a breath of fresh air to the show! I think that the new casting will ensure the programme does not run dry and their are many more enjoyable series to come!

The joy of this show is that when we are sitting at home, surrounded by British weather, Death in Paradise takes you away to another world - be it just for 60 minutes! You can leave all your troubles behind and enjoy a sunny trip to Saint Marie. The structure works well, and is in the style of Midsummers Murders, except the addition of the "get all the suspects together" idea at the end. Each episode is self contained and enjoyable, while not requiring masses of concentration. It's like Silent Witness or Law and Order but without the confusion.

Death in Paradise manages to mix drama and comedy in perfect measure - its an enjoyable crime drama where the audience can attempt to solve the case as the hour goes along and then see if they were right when the episode ends. I think Death in Paradise is one of the best new BBC shows is recent years, and I'm hoping there is much more to come! So, sit down and enjoy as you are whisked away to the sunny island of Saint Marie for an hour of crime solving fun.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 27, 2014 10:42 AM GMT

The 7:39 [DVD] [2013]
The 7:39 [DVD] [2013]
Dvd ~ David Morrissey
Price: £4.99

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, reliable, original BBC drama!, 21 Jan. 2014
This review is from: The 7:39 [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
BBC have prided themselves on their ability to make top quality drama programmes for many years - and this is just proof of the fact they are right to do so. The 7.39 is shown as a television film, and you get the theatracial feel thoughout - much more than you would with the regular television drama. However, what makes this drama what it is - above all else - is the relationship between the two main actors: David Morrissey and Sheridan Smith. Some casting agent somewhere needs to be given a medal and a pat on the back! Tho two performers work incredibly well together; and without them I doubt this would have been more than a run-of-the-mill relationship focused drama.

The storyline, like many similar dramas, is somewhat predictable (two strangers meet, fall in love, have affair, back home finds out...) However, the 7.39 does add a charm to this otherwise often recycled storyline. These two people begin by disliking eachover only to grow more fond as they keep meeting. It's like "Romeo and Juliet" meets Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. The charm, as well as the acting, is what allows this drama to stand out.

As a television film, there sadly will be no return for the 7.39, but you can buy this DVD and be whisked away to another place for 2hrs, just be careful not to miss the train back!

Benidorm - Series 6 [DVD]
Benidorm - Series 6 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Steve Pemberton
Price: £7.01

9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice way to warm those winter blues..., 13 Jan. 2014
This review is from: Benidorm - Series 6 [DVD] (DVD)
I'm not going to say that Benidorm is pure comedy genius and that we should all buy and watch it over and over again, and I admit that there are many comedies out there which are better than this. However, what Benidorm manages to do is, for 45 minutes, bring you in to a place where you can forget all your worries and pains and just have a good laught. The comedy works well as it places disfunctional families in arkward situtations and then just lets the humor commence.

What I will say, is that I think Series 6 is much better than the previous series, as a few fresh faces have brightened up the comedy, that seemed to suffer in Series 5. The relationship between Tyger and Michael has given the show a new dynamic, which I like and think works well. Also, I love Sherrie Hewson as the hotel manager in this show, her quirky personality works so well against all the other charecters (many of which are quirky in more ways than one).

So, by no means is this the best comedy of 2014, but it is lighthearted, warming and sends you off to another place you don't want to come back from when the 45 minutues is up... good thing there are seven episodes to enjoy. Note though, for those of you who currently have none of the previous series you are probably better of going for the Series 1-6 boxset, for completsits who already have series 1-5, this is your best best.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 13, 2014 12:17 PM GMT

Sherlock - Series 1-3 [DVD] [2010]
Sherlock - Series 1-3 [DVD] [2010]
Dvd ~ Benedict Cumberbatch
Price: £14.99

25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elementary, my dear Watson, 12 Jan. 2014
Over the last 70 years there has been countless versions of the Sherlock Holmes made, and many of them fail to live up to Arthur Conan Doyle's original series - although some did. However what Sherlock does is place the eccentric charecter in a settting we know and we can relate too - and the conclusion works amazingly well. This boxset, which includes the first three series (comprising nine feature-length television films) alongside a nice selection of special features, is great for anyone who has seen the series, or likes the charecter from previous versions made before.

Series 1 introduces Cumberbatch as the eccentric detective, alongside Dr Watson (and all credit to Martin Freeman for an excellent portrayal). The first series focuses on the relationship between these two charecters and the cases that they face together. This series, unlike the two to follw, is much more linear - their is a case they solve througout. The conclusion to the series, 'The Great Game' is far the best from the first set of three, and introduces Moriarty, portrayed here by Andrew Scott. The plotline, with Sherlock solving a series of mini-cases, is genius and really allows the audience to connect with the idea of a 21st century sherlock. In fact the first series is great for this as Sherlock uses taxi's, the homeless and modern technology to solve the crimes. The writers have cleverly adapted the original stories to fit the new context.

Series 2 introduces Irene Adler, played by the brilliant Laura Pulver. One thing about this series is that the cases are less linear; there are several events going on and they all link together at the end (some things can seem of no impotance earlier on and then there is a realisation of their importance). I think this method is better as we are experiencing Sherlock like the mind of Sherlock - very chaotic but everything connects in the end. I loved the adaption of the Hound of the Baskervilles within this series - it's such a classic Sherlock story, and the adaption works well with joining the original with the modern day. Of course, the most famous part of this series is the cliffhanger, very cleverly written: "How did Sherlock survive the fall".

Series 3 continues on in the same style as the third series, which I think is great. The first episode, I musst admit, does feel a little confused but by the second episode this has improved. The idea of Sherlock giving John's best man speech and then solving a murder at his wedding is genius - and it creates for a great mix of tension and humour. Furthermore, the introduction of Mary - Dr Watson's wife - introduces a great new dynamic to the show which is great, and insures the show does not run dry. The final story is reminiscient of the end of the first series, as Sherlock chases Augustes Magnussen. This episode is my favourite from this series, and rounds of the serise nicely.

This series works on every level, and the only one yet to mention is Benedict Cumberbatch. His portrayal of Sherlock is nothing short of genius - and he thoroughly deserves the multiple awards he has won for the role. No doubt, the show would not have worked so well with other actors - the show is very lucky to have Cumerbatch. There are rumours of a fourth series, and I really hope this is true. The series is most certainly 'Elementary, my Dear Watson'.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 13, 2014 11:24 AM GMT

The Green Green Grass - Series 1-4 Box Set [DVD]
The Green Green Grass - Series 1-4 Box Set [DVD]
Dvd ~ John Challis
Price: £18.20

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complete collection of a classic, 21 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Only Fools and Horses is one o Britain's most classic comedies; and it's spin off Green Green Grass is as good, if not even better AND now finally, after three years, the BBC are releasing the box set of this classic spin off. Green Green Grass follows the adventures of Boycie, Marlene and Tyler as they go on the run from The Driscoll Brothers to Shropshire. Boycie is acted incredibly well and the character is not only believable but humorously reminiscent of an 'Old Guys' type comedy. The stark contrast between the family and the farm workers makes for great humor and they add to the dual humor of the show.

This collection of episodes is great, and includes the three Christmas specials, however I do have a few personal favorite moments, including: the buying of Rocky (the gay ball), a schoolboy becoming fixated with Marlene and the return of the Discroll Brothers. It is a great shame that their will be no more made, due to the sad passing of John Sullivan; however this box-set is great tribute to a classic comedy, and ingenious comic writer. Format is singular cases for each series, which I always find better than one case.

100% reccomended!
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 5, 2014 9:09 PM GMT

Price: £0.99

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning voice. deserving winner, 16 Dec. 2013
This review is from: Skyscraper (MP3 Download)
This single shows us two things: firstly the amazing voice of Sam Bailey and secondly that, without doubt, she deserved to win the X Factor. Her voice is so powerful and mesmorising; and she connects with this song so well. The lyrics of the song, originally by Demi Lovato, are so truthful and fit Bailey's style so well. Their is an honesty to the song, and Bailey's vocal range comes alive, especially in the climax of the song.

Overall, Sam Bailey's voice is amazing and is showcased to an excellent standard with 'Skyscraper' - of which I have no doubt will be an instant hit. Excellent!

Price: £0.99

17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning voice, deserving winner, 16 Dec. 2013
This review is from: Skyscraper (MP3 Download)
This single shows us two things: firstly the amazing voice of Sam Bailey and secondly that, without doubt, she deserved to win the X Factor. Her voice is so powerful and mesmorising; and she connects with this song so well. The lyrics of the song, originally by Demi Lovato, are so truthful and fit Bailey's style so well. Also, for the CD release it comes with three of Bailey's favourite X Factor performances: "The Power of Love", "Make you feel my Love" and "Enough is Enough". I loved her renditions of each of these songs - although I must admit I was annoyed at the admittance of "Clown" (which I would have used instead of "Make you feel my love" - I thought this was one of Bailey's best songs in the competition - as she connected with the lyrics and transformed the song (although all her performances were amazing so I imagine it was a hard choice which to include). Also "New York, New York" would have been good - but if you included all her good performances this would become a winners album rather than winners single.

Overall, Sam Bailey's voice is amazing and is showcased to an excellent standard with 'Skyscraper' - of which I have no doubt will be an instant hit. Excellent!

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