SAS: Rogue Heroes – season 1

Very entertaining. Rotten Tomatoes 100%.

An over the top war story — with modern rock soundtrack.

… a  British television historical drama series which depicts the origins of the British Army Special Air Service (SAS) during the Western Desert Campaign of World War II.

The storyline is a broadly accurate representation of real events, as described by Ben Macintyre in his book of the same name. …

SAS: Rogue Heroes was the sixth most-watched UK drama series of 2022, and the fourth most popular of the year on the BBC.

It’s been renewed for another year.

The cast is great — though by far the most compelling role is Jack O’Connell as Paddy Mayne.

In the TV adaptation he’s an Irish poet / philosopher / drunk brawler.

In real life, his family says he was “a very caring, loving man”.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

The Locked Room by Elly Griffiths

Elly Griffiths is the pen name of Domenica de Rosa, a British crime novelist.

Her Ruth Galloway book series is super popular.

Ruth is a forensic archaeologist who lives in a remote seaside cottage near King’s Lynn in Norfolk and teaches at the University of North Norfolk.

She had a daughter, Kate, with on-again, off-again love interest DCI Harry Nelson.

I tried the most recent — The Locked Room #14 (2022) — mainly because it was set just at the start of the pandemic. And that was interesting.

The murder mysteries were complicated by Covid lockdown rules.

It is a good book. But I’m not sure I’ll ready more Ruth Galloway. I’m keener on her Harbinder Kaur book series.

B-52’s Vegas Residency 2023

Seems the B-52’s are trying to retire.

Their last show scheduled for September 3, 2023.

Fred is in his 70s now.

One of my most influential bands, this news got me back listening to their hits.

WHICH was the best song?

… “Love Shack“? … “Roam“?

I finally decided on Give Me Back My Man.

What I love best about the B-52’s are the vocals of Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell

The Last Kingdom is the first book in the Saxon Stories, a historical novel series written by Bernard Cornwell about the birth of England in the ninth and tenth centuries. …

The first book is excellent — but I doubt I’ll continue as I don’t like the gore and ultra violence.

The books have been adapted to a successful TV series, also called The Last Kingdom.

It reminds me of the TV series Vikings — which I quit due to excessive violence.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

His Dark Materials – 3 seasons

Somehow I managed to get through most of 3 seasons of His Dark Materials.

It really isn’t very good.

The books are much better – His Dark Materials Trilogy (The Golden Compass; The Subtle Knife; The Amber Spyglass)

And the big budget 2007 film is better – The Golden Compass. GREAT cast.

My favourite character on the TV adaptation might be Ruth Wilson as Mrs Coulter. That’s a tough role when you know you’ll be compared with Nicole Kidman who’s perfect in the film version.

The show follows the orphan Lyra, played by Dafne Keen, as she searches for a missing friend and discovers a kidnapping plot related to an invisible cosmic substance called Dust.

Ultimately, I didn’t care much about the plot. The prophecy. The Magisterium. Nor many of the characters. Dust. Angels. I really didn’t care about anything in this show.

Most interesting are the animal companions called daemons.

And there are some interesting special effects and speculative fiction touches.

Read the books. Watch the movie. Skip the TV series.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

The Never Game by Jeffery Deaver

Jeffery Deaver is a great writer.

This is the first book of his I’ve read.

Colter Shaw is an itinerate “reward-seeker,” traveling the country to help police solve crimes and private citizens locate missing persons.

When he learns of a reward for a missing college student in Silicon Valley, he takes the job. The investigation quickly thrusts him into the dark heart of Silicon Valley and the cutthroat billion-dollar video gaming industry–and then a second kidnapping happens…and this victim turns up dead.

The clues soon point to one video game, The Never Game, in which the player has to survive after being left abandoned.

Is a madman bringing that game to life? If so, Shaw has to stop him before he strikes again…and before he figures out that Shaw is on his trail.

I’ll be reading more Jeffery Deaver, for sure.

Deaver was chosen to write a new James Bond novel: Carte Blanche set in 2011 and was published on May 25, 2011.  So he’s definitely got credibility as an author.

Little America – seasons 1&2

What a great idea. Short vignettes of the funny, romantic, heartfelt, inspiring and unexpected lives of immigrants in America. Based on true stories.

In an era where ReTrumplican Americans are against immigrants, this show is timely.

In fact, filming of episode 8 had to be moved to Canada when Trump placed a 90-day restriction on entry to the U.S. by nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

Shaun Toub as Faraz was maybe my favourite character in the season one 8 different episodes.

Little America is a series produced for Apple TV+.

Season 1 launched January, 2020. Season 2 December 2022.

Rotten Tomatoes 95%.

I found season 2 not as compelling, though still worth watching.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Blind Date by Ottawa’s Brenda Chapman

A new series begins – the Hunter and Tate Mysteries.

Book #1 is OK.  Easy reading. 

I doubt I’ll continue with the series.

True crime podcaster Ella Tate is shaken to her core by the horrific assault and murder of Josie Wheatly, a teacher she has never met … because not only had Josie moved into Ella’s vacated apartment three months earlier, but her Facebook photos reveal a striking resemblance between the two women.

Within days, two people close to Ella are harmed, and she fears that she’s become the target of twisted revenge from her crime-reporting days. 

Reluctantly teaming up with her neighbour Tony, a hairdresser who loves the finer things in life, and Liam Hunter, the persistent detective assigned to the cases, Ella struggles to stay one step ahead before she becomes the target of the final kill.

A New England by Billy Bragg

Billy Bragg is one of the few artists I’ve seen live. And in a small venue.

He’s exactly my age and I related to his political activism. An opponent of fascism, racism,  bigotrysexism and homophobia, and a supporter of a multi-racial Britain.

His record label boss Andy Macdonald observed that “his presence onstage took on more of the avenging angel”.

An impressive and passionate performer.

Kirsty MacColl recorded the song the year after its release by Bragg (1983).  It was her biggest solo hit.

Billy first performed it like a busker. Rough. And a short version. Kirsty expanded the song.

This duet, to me, seems a good compromise between the versions.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I was twenty one years when I wrote this song
I’m twenty two now, but I won’t be for long
People ask when will you grow up to be a man
But all the girls I loved at school
Are already pushing prams
I loved you then as I love you still
Though I put you on a pedestal
They put you on the pill
I don’t feel bad about letting you go
I just feel sad about letting you know

I don’t want to change the world
I’m not looking for a new England
I’m just looking for another girl
I don’t want to change the world
I’m not looking for a new England
I’m just looking for another girl

I loved the words you wrote to me
But that was bloody yesterday
I can’t survive on what you send
Every time you need a friend
I saw two shooting stars last night
I wished on them but they were only satellites
It’s wrong to wish on space hardware
I wish, I wish, I wish you’d care

I don’t want to change the world
I’m not looking for a new England
I’m just looking for another girl
I don’t want to change the world
I’m not looking for a new England
I’m just looking for another girl
Looking for another girl
Looking for another girl
Looking for another girl…

The Wild One by Nick Petrie

5th book in the series.

When I realized my favourite character, Lewis, was not going to be in this story, I was disappointed.

BUT a murder mystery set in a December blizzard in Iceland turned out to be right up my alley. 😀

Losing ground in his fight against post-traumatic claustrophobia, war veteran Peter Ash has no intention of getting on an airplane–until a grieving woman asks Peter to find her eight-year-old grandson.

The woman’s daughter has been murdered. Erik, the dead daughter’s husband, is the sole suspect, and he has taken his young son and fled to Iceland for the protection of Erik’s lawless family.

Finding the boy becomes more complicated when Peter is met at the airport by a man from the United States Embassy. For reasons both unknown and unofficial, it seems that Peter’s own government doesn’t want him in Iceland. …