Westworld, Planet Earth II and Still Game have combined in recent weeks to ensure that I have been thoroughly enjoying my time spent watching TV. Despite the return of many series, that are regular features on my watching list,in the last month or two (NCIS, The Flash etc) I had not really gotten back into any of them. For example; NCIS has had another personnel change, 1 main character has left but 2 have joined, which after 13 seasons is hardly unexpected. I just haven’t been able to motivate myself to watch them.
That hasn’t been an issue however with the other three shows I mentioned at the start of this article. Sir David Attenborough narrates a second series of Planet Earth a full decade after the original aired. His unique style of narration, telling us the compelling stories that showcase the natural world in ways no one else has managed makes for stunning viewing. The advancements in Camera technology allow for the capture of images in even greater detail than ever before and the 100% commitment of the filmmakers to go above and beyond what is expected of them to give viewers a unique glimpse into the lives of the animals they film marks out a series like this one as a cut above the rest. Sir David Attenborough has been the benchmark for quality documentary filmmaking for a long time now along with the teams he works with but even he has not rested on his laurels, raising the bar yet again.
Still Game has been absent from our screens in Scotland since 2007, when its 6th series aired, having had a successful run of live shows at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow in 2014 where they did over 20 nights in a row they’ve brought it back for another series. There’s been a few changes, not least is the fact that it is on BBC1 now and not BBC2 Scotland; that’s right it is going out to the whole of the UK. Following the antics of Jack and Victor, a couple of pensioners and all the other residents from a fictional area in Glasgow called Craiglang, Still Game is awash with some hilarious banter. The original run of 6 seasons predates the mass adoption of High Definition so they’ve had to up their game a bit with the sets this time around, now you can actually see what is in the background. The biggest change I’ve noticed is that they seem to have toned down the swearing a bit this time around, but it has maintained its charm regardless.
Westworld however has stolen the show, I am just after watching Episode 7 and well blow me down was it incredible. I’ve seen it compared to Game of Thrones on several occasions and I would be inclined to agree, it is a lot like Game of Thrones but with fewer characters to try and keep track of. It is an onion show, with so many layers to unravel and understand that it keeps you well and truly on your toes. If anything it is a perfect case study of why the Netflix style, release it all at once is not always the best option. A 10 Episode Season released 1 per week lets a show like this one breathe. 10 episodes keeps it concise and negates any need to add filler or stretch things out too much to hit your 23 episode mark. (Something The Flash and many other “traditional” TV shows suffer from) While the weekly release allows fans like myself to sit down with others, chat about it and discuss it, share theories and as we are watching at the same pace we find out who was right or wrong at the same time. Then we can repeat the process all over again. If it is all out at once you lose out on that.
To recap then, if you haven’t watched Westworld yet or haven’t caught up, sort your life out and get it done ASAP. (You’ll find it on Sky Atlantic) Planet Earth II and Still Game can both be found on BBC iPlayer and both deserve some of your attention… but they can wait until after you’ve caught up with Westworld.
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