The Tunnel – season 1 (2013)

I enjoyed watching the 2 seasons (24 episodes) of The Bridge (2013-14), an excellent police drama set on the Mexican / American border.

It was based on ‘Bron, Broen’ (2011), a Scandinavian hit.

The Tunnel (French: Tunnel) is the British-French adaptation. Season 1 launched 2013.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

The series stars Stephen Dillane and Clémence Poésy as British and French police detectives Karl Roebuck and Elise Wassermann …

The plot follows the two detectives working together to find a serial killer who left the upper-half body of a French politician and the lower-half of a British prostitute in the Channel Tunnel, at the midpoint between France and the UK. They later learn that the killer – who comes to be nicknamed the “Truth Terrorist” – is on a moral crusade to highlight many social problems, terrorising both countries in the process. As the series progresses, the killer’s true intention is revealed. …

The American adaptation was best in my opinion. Then the Scandinavian original.

The Tunnel is worth watching. Indeed, the similar storyline was better in some aspects than the other two.

When they cast Clémence Poésy  (Fleur Delacour in the Harry Potter film series) as one of the detectives, it must have seemed ideal.

But she’s not nearly as intriguing as were the female leads in the other two series. One difference in this adaptation is that Elise Wassermann does not necessarily have Asperger Syndrome. She’s simply direct. And socially awkward.

Dillane is at least as good as the male leads in the other two series, however. Very believable as the “rumpled British Everyman“.

That’s it. I won’t watch season two of The Tunnel. I’ve finally had enough of The Bridge.


The Bridge (‘Bron, Broen’) 2011

I enjoyed watching the 2 seasons (24 episodes) of The Bridge (2013-14), an excellent American police drama set on the Mexican / American border.

It was based on ‘Bron, Broen’ (2011)

When a body, cut in half at the waist, is discovered in the middle of the Øresund Bridge, which connects Copenhagen with Malmö, placed precisely on the border between the two countries, the investigation falls under the jurisdiction of both the Danish and Swedish police agencies.

It is not one corpse but two halves of two separate women: the upper-half being that of a female Swedish politician; the lower-half being that of a Danish prostitute. Saga Norén from Sweden and Martin Rohde from Denmark lead the murder investigations. …

Click PLAY or watch a trailer on YouTube.

‘Bron, Broen’ is good too, but not nearly as good as the American remake.  I doubt I’ll continue on to season 2.

The highlight is Sofia Helin as the Swedish police detective Saga Norén.

Suggested, but never stated, to have Asperger’s syndrome she is portrayed as completely oblivious to social norms, but a brilliant and devoted police investigator.

The finale of Bron, Broen season 1 was very well done. Better than the American version.

There have also been remakes made on the British / French border and Estonia / Russia. It’s a good premise for a TV series.

I’ll download the The Tunnel next.

The plot follows the two detectives working together to find a serial killer who left the upper-half body of a French politician and the lower-half of a British prostitute in the Channel Tunnel, at the midpoint between France and the UK.

Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

Highly recommended. Best book I’ve read in some time.

The Pillars of the Earth is a historical novel by Ken Follett published in 1989 about the building of a cathedral in the fictional town of Kingsbridge, England. It is set in the middle of the 12th century …

The book traces the development of Gothic architecture out of the preceding Romanesque architecture, and the fortunes of the Kingsbridge priory and village against the backdrop of historical events of the time. …

Before this novel was published, Follett was known for writing in the thriller genre. The Pillars of the Earth became his best-selling work which was later made into an 8-part miniseries in 2010. …

It is fantastic. Though I have very little interest in either history or architecture, I was entertained for over 40 hours of audio.

The story leads up to the murder of Thomas Becket by followers of the king in Canterbury Cathedral.

Gothic architecture characteristics include the pointed arch, the ribbed vault (which evolved from the joint vaulting of Romanesque architecture) and the flying buttress. During the course of the book these innovations come to England.

Reims Cathedral

Ken Follett:

I knew it had to be a long book. It took at least thirty years to build a cathedral and most took longer because they would run out of money, or be attacked or invaded. So the story covers the entire lives of the main characters. My publishers were a little nervous about such a very unlikely subject but, paradoxically, it is my most popular book. It’s also the book I’m most proud of. …

I’ve downloaded the sequel World Without End (2007)

American politics went batshit crazy starting with Newt Gingrich

I ignored American politics until 2004 when — inexplicably — George W. Bush was elected for a second term after being unbelievably bad in his first term.

What the Hell was going on?

Jim VandeHei explains why the USA has such extreme politics in 2017: Newt GingrichFox News (1996), MSNBC, CNN, Facebook and later Twitter, Sarah Palin and finally Trump.

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert documented the idiocy.

It’s easy to say Americans deserve the politicians they have.

My fear is that other nations will evolve in the direction of the American way. 😦

Game of Thrones – season 7

I bought Game of Thrones (season 7) from iTunes. Yes I know it’s the most pirated TV series. 🙂

Like the previous season, it largely consisted of original content not found in George R. R. Martin‘s A Song of Ice and Fire series …

Like the previous season it’s better for being freed of Martin’s over-complicated story line. In fact, I’d say season 7 is the best yet.

In fact, I’d say season 7 is the best TV of all time. Attention to detail is astonishing.

Winter is finally here. The armies are converging so we might yet find out who will end up sitting on the throne of swords. (My guess … Jon Snow.)

The plot is crystal clear. I only occasionally had to look up characters online to remember who they were.

I can hardly wait for the 8th and final season.

Click PLAY or watch a season 7 trailer on YouTube.

I like most of the characters. Starks best of all. Aria best of the Starks.


Big Little Lies

As Big Little Lies won a ton of Emmy Awards, I thought I’d better download the 7 episodes.

It’s excellent. Very intense.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

At a public school in Monterey (California), a death occurs on trivia night, but neither the victim nor the murderer are revealed. Backtracking to the first day of school, the families of five first-graders are introduced. …

Reese Witherspoon is awesome as Madeline Martha Mackenzie. She’s been excellent in everything I’ve seen her in.

Nicole Kidman is always good. Director Jean-Marc Vallée says he’s so privileged to have such experienced, talented actors.

My other favourite character is Shailene Woodley as (Plain) Jane Chapman. Homicidal? Suicidal?

In July 2017, HBO revealed that a second season is possible, and that Moriarty had been asked to write a story for a second season


Vikings – season 1

Vikings is a historical drama television series …

Season 1 premiered on March 3, 2013 in Canada …

Filmed in Ireland, Vikings is inspired by the tales about the Viking Ragnar Lothbrok, one of the best-known mythological Norse heroes and notorious as the scourge of France and England. …

Rotten Tomatoes reported a 81% approval rating with an average rating of 6.9/10 based on 27 reviews. The site’s consensus reads, “Vikings makes up for its lack of historical accuracy with a heaping helping of violence, romance, and striking visuals”. …

Click PLAY or watch a trailer on YouTube.

Already renewed for a sixth season I doubt I’ll continue on to season 2. Too gory for gore’s sake.

related – The religious angle of the TV series is entirely fabricated. Learn about Ásatrú – the religion of the Vikings