Back of the Net(flix)

24 hours after the release of the trailer for its exclusive ‘Breaking Bad’ spin-off ‘Better Call Saul’, it’s clear that Netflix is the future of TV. Sure, Sky has ‘Fortitude’ coming up and all the HBO shows, not to mention Amazon coming up from behind with their own streaming service (and a commitment to movie production with their new film studio plans), but Netflix’s 2015 schedule of new and returning shows is a reminder that  we are in safe hands. For a small fee, of course.

better call saul

As well as ‘Saul’, which seems set to be a wisecracking companion piece to Heisenberg’s straight-up crack, there is a slew of streamable telly treats coming our way. New ‘House of Cards’ in Feb and ‘Orange is the New Black’ in summer have come to be expected now, but no less cherished; meanwhile, the increasingly eclectic mix of genres looks set to continue with dark US family drama ‘Bloodlines’ approaching in March, mere weeks after ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’, Tina Fey’s irrepressibly bouncy-looking new NY sitcom.

Fey’s new show looks unashamedly girly (more ‘Mean Girls’ than ’30 Rock’ perhaps?) and Netflix’s penchant for girl power shows looks set to continue with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in ‘Grace and Frankie’, which may be a gamble but a potential surprise hit if NF’s track record is anything to go by. And, of course, there’s movie-inspired mayhem from ‘Matrix’ minds, the Wachowskis, with their new original series ‘Sense8’ and the first in a promised run of Marvel off-shoots with a ‘Daredevil’ reboot come April. And I get the sense this is still just scratching the surface of a potent TV revolution – bring it on, Netflix!

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The True Death

It’s finally here.

After paying my respects a year ago, upon the announcement it was being staked in the heart, it’s time for UK fangbangers to take their final sip of ‘True Blood’.

true blood season 7

Of course, there may be those of you not tuned in to FOX who’re up to date with our US cousins who bit into the finale a couple of weeks ago – but, rather than spoiling the ending for us pitiful TV viewers, why not join us in celebrating the legacy of Sookie, Bill, Eric, Pam, and the residents of Bon Temps with one last trip down the bloody bayou?

After a bit of a dip around the Season Four mark, HBO’s vamp drama embraced its crazy, ridiculous and kinky nature to romp towards the finishing line like Jason Stackhouse on V. The final season may have given short shrift to some key characters (Sam, Tara, Alcide) but I have every faith tonight’s sign-off will celebrate the show’s wicked ways at the same time as providing closure for the Sookie/Bill shippers out there.

On the Boardwalk

boardwalk empire soundtrack

Starting to wear out your ‘Great Gatsby’ soundtrack? Following Baz Luhrmann’s mashup of hip-hop and 1920s jazz stylings, you’d do a lot worse than spinning the new ‘Boardwalk Empire’ soundtrack if you’re looking for a further fix of ragtime glitz-and-glam.

The second volume features some of our most interesting contemporary singer/songwriters dolling up and doing their best speakeasy sing-song. Chief amongst these are St Vincent, Rufus Wainwright, Elvis Costello and Patti Smith; throw in some instrumental jazz shuffles and a bit o’ Liza Minnelli (!) and you have some musical moonshine ready for consumption straight from the tumbler right into your ears. Flapper dress on? Go!

Take a taste of Patti Smith’s vintage ‘I Ain’t Got Nobody’ below.

Bye to Bon Temps

true blood
Fangbangers everywhere must be crying into their bottle of Tru Blood upon hearing the confirmation from HBO that cult show ‘True Blood’ is getting staked at the end of its seventh year in 2014. Look above, Sookie and Eric are in bits!

I can’t say I’m that surprised; I’ve enjoyed a spot of Sookie, slaying and sex (lots of sex) down in Bon Temps ever since its 2008 breakthrough, but it feels like the show has lost its teeth at times, especially during its fourth year. The departure of Alan Ball last year was surely a sign that the show was starting to wind down – but following the announcement, I do have to wonder where else fans will be able to find such a wild mix of raunch, gore and wildly irreverent humour (not to mention a slew of ‘F’ and ‘C’ bombs) on TV today? Sure, there are many great cult shows on HBO, but how many of them feature werewolves shagging fairies?

UK fans who didn’t stream the current run can look forward to the start of the sixth season on FX in a few weeks. Teaser trailer below: