Pay-tv films

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Pay Television -

I re­cently heard the phrase “the tele­vi­sion equiv­a­lent of Burger Rings”, mean­ing a guilty plea­sure with no nu­tri­tional value. This seems like a good de­scrip­tion for The Last Ship, a se­ries from Michael Bay ( Trans­form­ers). The con­ceit is this: a virus has wiped out 80 per cent of the world’s pop­u­la­tion, with ex­cep­tions in­clud­ing a US Navy de­stroyer. The trailer for sea­son four, de­but­ing here, sug­gests Cap­tain Tom Chan­dler (Eric Dane) has come to re­gret get­ting off said ship. Com­rade De­tec­tive Stream­ing on Ama­zon Prime Video Since Ama­zon Prime Video launched in De­cem­ber last year, it has added a con­sis­tent stream of qual­ity TV se­ries. It re­minds of the Latin motto chief ex­ec­u­tive Jeff Be­zos has given to his rocket com­pany, Blue Ori­gin, which trans­lates as: “Step by step, fe­ro­ciously”. Rev-heads will have en­joyed the old cast from Top Gear re­united in The Grand Tour (with a sec­ond sea­son forth­com­ing). There was The Man in the High Cas­tle and Amer­i­can Gods for sci-fi fans; the wry spy drama Pa­triot with Aus­tralian ac­tor Michael Dor­man; and el­e­gant pe­riod dra­mas in Z: The Be­gin­ning of Ev­ery­thing and more re­cently The Last Ty­coon. But if there is one you shouldn’t miss it is Com­rade De­tec­tive. It is in­tro­duced by ac­tor Chan­ning Ta­tum and Bri­tish di­rec­tor Jon Ron­son as the re­stored Ro­ma­nian po­lice se­ries from the 80s, re­plete with pro-com­mu­nist themes. But it is mis­di­rec­tion: the whole six-episode se­ries is high-con­cept satire. (It took me longer to catch on than I care to ad­mit.) No doubt the in­ten­tion is to make au­di­ences con­sider how per­ni­cious pro­pa­ganda can be, while mak­ing them laugh. A book­keeper by day, an as­sas­sin by night: what will they think of next? Of course it all seems ter­ri­bly plau­si­ble in the Ben Af­fleck film The Ac­coun­tant (Sun­day, 8.30pm, Pre­miere). The film, which also stars Anna Ken­drick, JK Sim­mons, Jef­frey Tam­bor and John Lith­gow, more than made its money back, though the crit­ics’ ver­dicts were mixed. Nonethe­less, Warner Bros has an­nounced that a se­quel is in the works; though its com­mit­ment to see­ing Af­fleck re­turn as the caped cru­sader in the film The Bat­man seems to be fal­ter­ing. First he stepped down as di­rec­tor, then his script was spiked … it’s not look­ing good. Check out the win­ner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes last year, Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake (Satur­day, 8.30pm, Mas­ter­piece). Rel­a­tive new­comer to the big screen Dave Johns plays the ti­tle role, a man med­i­cally un­fit to work but trapped in the un­for­giv­ing and byzan­tine wel­fare sys­tem. For lovers of ab­sur­dist dystopian come­dies — think any­thing by Char­lie Kauf­man — see The Lob­ster (Satur­day, 11.20pm, World Movies). It stars Colin Far­rell and Rachel Weisz as guests at a strange ho­tel where ev­ery­one must find a ro­man­tic part­ner in 45 days or be turned into an an­i­mal of their choice.

Satir­i­cal se­ries Com­rade De­tec­tive

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