‘Allo ‘Allo – A French Farce made in Britain

‘Allo ‘Allo

Series 1



In WW2 France, Rene Artois runs a small café where Resistance fighters, Gestapo men, German Army officers and escaped Allied POWs interact daily, ignorant of one another’s true identity or presence, exasperating Rene.

This is one of my favourite sitcoms, certainly one of my favourite British sitcoms. There’s a lot of silliness in the plots, which is likely to put a few people off, but I love it. Not only are the plots fun, with a number of them arcing across episodes and even series – this is unusual in the world of sitcoms and helps to make this stand out from the crowd – but there’s a veritable crowd of good characters to enjoy, on every side of the storyline.

For me the three best characters are Rene Artois, the central character and object of desire for at least half the female characters despite being overweight, bald and occasionally cowardly, Leftenant Gruber, the gay German officer who has a thing for Rene, and Herr Flick of the Gestapo, but all are good, even Officer Crabtree, the British agent who masquerades as a French policeman – he’s annoying but it’s deliberate so it doesn’t bother me as it might otherwise.

Watching this show I can just imagine the fun the cast must have had on set and wish I was part of it.

If you’ve not seen this yet, check it out and see why British sitcoms were considered so good once upon a time.

Filthy Rich

Filthy Rich


03b001fb44df178321fd4b304755fd82.jpgThree illegitimate children discover they each have a claim to the fortune of one of NZ’s wealthiest men, John Truebridge. With so much money on the line, John’s legitimate family will do anything to stop these new, unexpected heirs!

I stumbled across this series quite by accident, and this is one fall I’m glad I had; the characters are interesting and compelling, and their loyalties shift with every episode until you don’t know who’s working with who, what they’re after, or who you should be rooting for.

In keeping with the nature of this series, which has more surprises than I can count, the ending is shocking and completely unexpected, with actions and revelations I did not see coming. I don’t know if there is going to be a second series, but I really hope there will be because I want to know what’s next for the characters.

If you haven’t seen this yet, and you like a good drama, then make sure you check it out; I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I did.

Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones

A Song Of Fire And Ice Book One

George R R Martin


c9lzmv4d3mgzpnyntz7s.jpg‘When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground’Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.

From the fertile south, where heat breeds conspiracy, to the vast and savage eastern lands, all the way to the frozen north, kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars, lords and honest men . . . all will play the Game of Thrones.

This book is fantastic; I honestly don’t think there’s any other way to describe it. This is an incredibly complex story, only the first part of it in fact because it’s a 7 book series, with some of the best and most realised characters in fiction as far as I’m concerned.

The story is told from the perspective of multiple characters, and they are all given equal ‘screen’ time, with every chapter showing events as seen through the eyes of someone different. Because of this, you occasionally see the same incident from different angles, and the result is that no-one is painted as entirely black or white, and the more you read the more you learn about the characters, and the more you want to learn.

I like some characters – Tyrion and Ayra being my favourites – more than others, but they’re all really well written, as are the situations they get involved in, which are set in vastly different locations.

Some scenes may disturb readers because of the violence they describe but this is hard fantasy, and the type of world described is one that used to exist, which helps to make this book so good.




TV Series


Malcolm Reynolds fought against the Alliance and now he and his crew, made up of soldiers, mercenaries, and criminals work on the edges of space, trying to stay one step ahead of hunger and the law as they take whatever jobs they can find to make money.

What can I say about this series other than ‘perfect’, it really is in my opinion. I’m not too bothered about the western genre usually, but combining it with sci-fi, as Joss Whedon has done here, is both clever and exciting. It isn’t just the unusual setting that helps to make this series so good, it’s the casting – Whedon is always so good at picking the right person to take a role – the characterisation and the writing, oh and the effects, can’t forget them.

Nearly all of the cast have worked with Whedon before and it’s clear they enjoyed doing so, and that they trust him because he’s created some of my all time favourite TV characters. Normally I’d say there’s only one really character in a series, with others having good moments or episodes here and there, but with Firefly every character is different but equally and consistently good, to the extent that given the chance I would love to be a part of life on board Serenity amongst the crew.

The standard of writing in every episode is high, with scenes that range from the funny, to the frightening, and on to the emotional; if you don’t care about these characters you’re dead inside.

The lack of sound effects during the scenes set in space show Whedon’s attention to detail, and help to explain why almost everything he makes does so well.

If I have one complaint that keeps this from being 5*, it’s that some bone-headed TV exec cancelled it before it could really get going.

To show what the set was like, you have to watch this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmU-Bmk4Wrk

A fun adventure

Tonight I watched the first episode of Sky’s new series, Hooten and the Lady, and I’ve got to say I’m glad I did because it was great.


Lady Alexandra travels to the Amazon on behalf of the British museum in search of the camp of Victorian explorer Percy Fawcett, along the way she encounters an American adventurer, Hooten, when they are both captured by  a tribe of locals. After a trial by combat they have to join forces and make a run for it, eventually finding their way to Fawcett’s camp, where they discover a map to El Dorado.

I won’t give away anything more, suffice to say they encounter adventure and danger and get to know each other a little better.

I really enjoyed this opening episode; there was some nice scenery, beautiful relics, decent characters and good chemistry, all in all it was as much as you could want from the first episode of a new series.

The acting from the two leads, is decent but not great, I don’t expect them to win any awards for it, but they do have good chemistry, which I hope will develop further as the series continues. The writing is on the same level, not award-winning but more than acceptable.

Where this gained some solid points with me is in the location scenes, and in the artifacts, which looked genuine enough in the relatively quick glimpses the audience were given.

Not quite so good is the slightly derivative nature of the characters; there is a mix of Indiana Jones, Lara Croft, and Nathan Drake from the Uncharted games; I even saw a scene that was very reminiscent of one from Romancing the Stone with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner.

Overall I’m going to have to give this starstarstarstar2 because despite its flaws it is very enjoyable and I’m looking forward to watching the next episode.