Chicago P.D. (2014 – )

First of all, there are a selection of these programmes; ‘Chicago P.D.’, ‘Chicago Fire’, ‘Chicago Med’ and ‘Chicago Justice’. Therefore, there are some interlinks and crossovers which excites fans who have watched them all. The idea is that you watch them in a certain order in time for the crossovers. However, I watched the first episode of ‘Chicago Fire’ and found it very confusing, I felt like I was watching an episode mid series rather than the pilot, so I gave up on that series. Then I started to watch ‘Chicago P.D.’, watched the first episode and ended up binge-watching eleven episodes in one sitting, oops… There are also some crossovers with the show ‘Law and Order: SVU’. It is annoying with these crossovers as some episodes can become confusing if you’ve not watched the previous from another show as they link. Additionally, it’s very irritating when they leave an episode on a cliff hanger but don’t finish it in ‘Chicago P.D.’ ever! But I can’t be dealing with watching multiple shows at once just to understand a few episodes.

Chicago PD - Season 1

At the 21st District at Chicago Police Department, a group work as intelligence detectives. The first thing you recognise is that these aren’t any normal cops. They would do anything, and I mean anything, to get crime off the streets. In particular, this involves the sergeant of the intelligence department: Hank Voight (Jason Beghe). He is the one that does go to extreme limits which I do not agree with, he is an extremely flawed character. Nevertheless, some things he does do right. He takes a lot of weight on his shoulders for solving the crime in Chicago. ‘Chicago P.D.’ feels more realistic to human emotions and the boundaries people will cross when pushed to their limits.

Chicago P.D.

I also have to mention a few of the characters as they bring so much to the show: passionate detective Erin Lindsay (Sophia Bush – who most recognise from ‘One Tree Hill’ but to me she’s Beth from ‘John Tucker Must Die’), my favourite Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer), dedicated Antonio Dawson (Jon Seda), patrol officer Kim Burgess (Marina Squerciati) and quiet yet loyal Alvin Olinsky (Elias Koteas). There are many other brilliant characters in the show, but they were just a few that should be mentioned. All of the characters have some excellent storylines, which just hooks the audience in more. You discover an element of one’s life and you need to watch more episodes to discover the whole story. The show is very skilled in creating some complex character backgrounds that intrigues the audience.

Chicago P.D.

The intelligence detectives become a family trying to protect their city from the dangers in the world. Each episode follows a new case, always high-profile and dangerous. All of the episodes are very explosive. The mystery and action within each episode are phenomenal and addictive to watch. The cases are often heart-breaking and feel very real and you quickly cling to this police department in their flaws and glory. The first episode definitely gives you a flavour of the type of programme this is, yes it is just another cop show, but I would say it is one of the better ones.

The Witcher (2019 – )

Based on the book and game, ‘The Witcher’ has come to screen on Netflix. However, I cannot compare the three medias, as I have not read the books nor played the game, so this review will be based upon the programme alone. Firstly, this is definitely for older ages as it contains strong language, gory violence, nudity and sex.

‘The Witcher’ as many are saying, is a lot like ‘Game of Thrones’. There are a lot of similarities in the fantasy links, castles, worlds and creatures alike. I do think that if you’re a fan of ‘Game of Thrones’ as many are, then this would be a show that you would also enjoy. The themes are very similar, as a fantasy show that has been set years in the past. Although, characters are different as are the plots within ‘The Witcher’. It doesn’t tell the same story whatsoever as ‘Game of Thrones’. The problem is, when you are looking at a show that has some sorts of fantasy elements, magic, and unknown creatures, I don’t think any show can be that different from ‘Game of Thrones’ due to its vast knowledge from audiences and success! However, I don’t think that it is a bad thing, ‘The Witcher’ can stand away from ‘Game of Thrones’ and be appreciated for what it is still.

There are multiple storylines throughout the show. The first follows Geralt of Rivia (played by Superman Henry Cavill). Geralt is The Witcher of the programme, the man who likes to walk the earth alone collecting his coin to rid the monsters of the world. Although, everywhere he goes he seems to learn that humans are the monsters behind all monsters, and they keep reminding him that he must follow his “destiny” instead of ignoring it in his solidarity. He does not say much in his wonderings, but his gruntled swear word when he acknowledges something has gone wrong becomes a hilarious catchphrase. I also cannot forget one of the best characters of the show: Jaskier (Joey Batey) who is funny and sings his songs on the way.

The Witcher - Geralt of Rivia

The second storyline involves Yennefer of Vengerberg (Anya Chalotra). We learn about her complex past which is necessary to build the love from the audience. A trainee witch at the beginning, this character only begs and yearns for more power and greed. Desperate to become a powerful witch and something more than original, Yennefer is a very complicated character and is adored by the audience. She is an excellent actress, in which the audience can feel all of her emotions making her able to connect to so superbly.

The Witcher - Yennefer
Lastly, there is the storyline involving Princess Cirilla of Cintra (Freya Allan). Her storyline starts in pain, agony and fire. A war has taken over Cintra and fallen to the enemy. Cirilla, as the Princess, is marched out of the gates and into hiding. She spends most of her journey on the run from those who are chasing her, but also running towards her “destiny”: to find Geralt of Rivia. Ciri is a great character who you discover through the show has an unknown power inside.

The Witcher - Ciri

The cinematography is amazing. The whole aesthetic is visually pleasing and stunning with landscapes. The programme looks expensive in spending the time in the little things such as how each episode looks and feels for the audience. The fighting scenes are somehow mesmerising to watch. It is a very good show and becomes very addictive to watch. Each episode lasting an hour long, you find yourself hooked in each little story wanting to find out everything you can. It is a programme that needs attention paying to it as it can become confusing at times particularly involving the timeline of the show. Nevertheless, ‘The Witcher’ is phenomenal, even if just for the last two episodes of season one make it amazing. It didn’t take me long to watch, I could have happily done it in one sitting but sleep was needed.

‘Game of Thrones’ has just ended and I think this is what is needed after its underwhelming season eight finale.

Gavin and Stacey: Christmas Special (2019)

Oh what’s occurring…

Everything we’ve been waiting for has finally arrived. A little bit more of Gavin and Stacey – the boy from Essex and the girl from Barry Island in Wales. From one place to another, the quick romance that flourished. We haven’t seen any of these fabulous characters since 2010 and it’s all we’ve been waiting for, a Christmas special with all the originals coming back to make us giggle.

Happily, we were not disappointed. And I tell you for why. All the classic comedy and romance springs back to screen not missing a bit. There’s reminiscing and nostalgia. Comedy and romance. Everything that the original series had.

Oh and everyone’s all grown up. Gavin and Stacey in their 10 years of marriage, now with three children! The brilliant Nessa is back, and of course Neil the baby. Smithy obviously returns. Lovely Gwen and panicky yet hilarious Bryn returns. With Bryn being given the task of Christmas Day dinner, his classic mannerisms are selected perfectly. We can not forget Gavin’s parents, Mick and Pam! Pam as superb as ever, judgemental and manipulative (but we all love her!). We even get a glimpse return from Dawn and Pete in their familiar hysterics. What more could you ask for? If you could ask for a song between Nessa and Bryn, you won’t be let down!

Gavin and Stacey is a perfect way of stepping into Christmas! I’m just begging they’ll give us some more episodes – it was all too good!

White Collar (2009 – 2014)

FBI Agent and Criminal Informant – Peter Burke (Tim DeKay) and Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer). Agent Peter Burke, the man who caught one of the greatest bond and art forgers of all time, Neal Caffrey. While Caffrey is spending his four-year sentence in prison, he begs with the man who caught him (twice) into a deal which would be mutually beneficial – Neal to become a criminal informant for the FBI with Peter as his handler. Strict rules are put into place where Neal is restricted to a two-mile radius around his house and he is tied to a tracking device around his ankle.

White Collar 1
Every episode brings a new white collar criminal for the new unlikely pair to take down. While suspicion of what Neal gets up to grows and grows in Peter’s mind, Neal is indeed giving good reason as he plots and plans his own heists. Both protagonists are incredibly intelligent, always trying to be one step in front of each other. Testing each other to extreme limits, hiding secrets, suspicious in both directions. However, this partnership between Peter and Neal, unlikely as it is, becomes a formidable team, one that is loved by the audience. The partnership only develops throughout the series, making them one of the best teams to watch (in my opinion).

White Collar 2
Peter and Neal aren’t the only two characters of the show to be adored. In comes Peter’s wife, Elizabeth Burke (Tiffani Thiessen). Elizabeth is an amazing character, her and Peter’s relationship is brilliant and any episode where she is involved in taking down the criminal just makes it that much better. Secondly, there’s my favourite character of the entire show, Mozzie (Willie Garson). Mozzie is hilarious for so many reasons; his conspiracy mind, his desire of the criminal world, his reference of the ‘suits’ and distrust of the FBI. At the FBI White Collar division, there is also two other agents, Clinton Jones (Sharif Atkins) and Diana Barrigan (Marsha Thomason) (she does randomly leave, but happily rejoins the team again). Both are excellent additions to the team helping solve the day-to-day cases of forges and other crimes.

White Collar 3
Every episode is completely different, although a story arc continues throughout the series, so it is needed to be watched in order. Now, I watch a lot of tv shows, for example, this one is very similar to ‘The Blacklist’. However, a big difference is there seems to be a higher quality of crimes within ‘White Collar’, less underbelly of the city and much less death and guns. Neal Caffrey is a phenomenal character, whose cons are magnificently intelligent or even simple in their sophistication. His plays on his good looks to charm anyone and every episode is exciting to see how his mind works on each case they solve. What is brilliant is that there are so many shock moments, moments you can’t guess what’s going on, they were shocking in the delivery and leaves you baffled constantly in execution. I would definitely recommend this show, it has comedy, romance, crime and classic FBI scenes.

Fleabag (2016 – 2019)

This has to be one of my new favourite shows to rewatch, rewatch and rewatch. The first episode is extremely risky – there’s a clear reason for this programme being only for older audiences. It does quickly set a tone for the main protagonist who doesn’t really have any limits she won’t go to. This does dial down considerably in season two. Created, written and starred by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, she is definitely the star of the show.

Fleabag 1

Phoebe Waller-Bridge as the main protagonist is so likable, even if at first it doesn’t seem this way, she’s definitely a character to grow on you and understand her a lot more. Her character, who remains nameless, is hilarious in her brutality and blunt comments. Her sneaky looks to the camera, explaining her life story to us, is iconic and perfectly executed. Her character is definitely not flawless, her actions are probably not ones to aspire to, but throughout the series there’s a lot of reasoning behind her lifestyle as she becomes a character in desperate pain.

Fleabag 2

We meet her family. Sister Claire (Sian Clifford), polar opposite to our main character. Claire is a brilliant character and the sister relationship between the two feels so honest and real. It’s not a flowery sisterhood, but instead filled with awkwardness which feels so British and hilarious. There’s Claire’s husband (Brett Gelman) who becomes the fuel of hatred for the audience. We also meet Dad (Bill Paterson), who can’t communicate emotions and hides away into the background. However, his character builds a lot throughout the series, particularly in season two. Finally, there’s the Godmother (Olivia Colman) – soon you’ll understand the uncomfortable family tension when this woman comes to light in her passive aggressive notions. All of the characters are perfectly starred on screen bringing their own comedy and bizarre personalities.

Fleabag 3

Personally, season two is so much better than season one. With an explosive first episode, season two is hilarious in every way. But there’s a much deeper understanding of our main protagonist and who cannot forget the introduction of a new character, the Priest (Andrew Scott aka ‘Sherlock’s Moriarty). Nevertheless, every one of the 12 episodes across ‘Fleabag’ is excellently executed and different. There’s comedy, there’s tragedy. But the show is just so watchable and likable in all aspects. It’s understandable that ‘Fleabag’ won four Emmy awards! The whole show is just classically British that actually made me laugh out loud (and cry…).

The Alienist (2018 – )

I may have binge-watched the whole first season in a day… that’s how addictive this show is. Set in 1859, New York City becomes riddled by horrific murders. One serial killer with seemingly no pattern leave the police in despair with no leads and no suspects. Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt (Brian Geraghty), naïve to the corruption in the Police Department, is forced to turn to one others would disagree: an Alienist, as they called it in the 19th century, someone who studies the mind of those with mental illnesses as a mind that is alienated. The show itself explains the terminology as set in the 1800s.

The Alienist 1

With well-known actors this is a show to be watched for the stars but continued to be watched for the plot. Daniel Brühl is the main character – his character of a psychologist, who is ahead of his time, is disregarded by many, his science is one not yet understood. Dr Laszlo Kreizler is determined to understand what controls men to be evil; he becomes so driven and obsessed to the point where he will do anything to uncover this new evil that has broken in New York City. His old friend, played by Luke Evans, seems one extremely loyal to Laszlo. His job, however unlike to the doctor, is an illustrator of the New York Times. His character doesn’t seem to be one likable at the beginning, but you learn a lot about John Moore as the show progresses. Finally, is Sara Howard played by the fantastic Dakota Fanning. Her character is probably most likable – easily, most likable. As a strong, powerful female in the show, Sara battles as the first woman working in the Police Department, she fights against grotesque sexism and corrupt detectives. All of the characters are ones riddled from an interesting troublesome past making them feel so real on screen, particularly with the phenomenal acting in all roles.

1859 is brought to life on screen. In setting, society and clothing, the entirety of the programme engulfs a time of so many years ago. Before forensics, which this show nods to; before women’s rights, which again the show nods to; before the understanding of the human mind, which the show is revolved around. There is a lot going on in the plot with a lot of deeper meanings – societal pleas and agonies, corruption and control from the rich. ‘The Alienist’ briefly encounters a lot of mishaps and plotlines, but one that solely remains in front of all is the psychopath murdering the little boys.

These crime scenes and horrifying murders do bring a natural crime mystery drama to the show. But they also bring in horror. There were times, towards the end of the series, where I was frozen in suspense of what was going to happen while fearing for the lives on screen. The audience easily become engulfed into this old setting and become easily revolved around these three characters and their desperation to catch an unknown creature. Meanwhile, other villains rear their ugly heads and only create more problems.

The Alienist 2

‘The Alienist’ is truly a magnificent show. The cinematography is outstanding in the camera shots and twisted views. Every segment of the programme was perfectly executed for the audience to feel all emotions and continue on this journey of agony and death. You may can tell that this show is definitely one for older ages with constant death and gory dead bodies. You find you have to just watch the next episode as the cliff-hangers linger in your mind. I’ve heard a lot of people say it’s a mixture of ‘Sherlock’ and ‘Mindhunter’ in which I would agree, just with an older age twist.

Criminal: France (2019)

Finally, to end this anthology ‘Criminal’ series off is travelling to France.

Criminal France Episode 1

Émilie is our first suspect in episode one. In a hideous, terrifying terrorist attack one woman has stayed outspoken about the horrors, helping the other victims there. However, the police suspect that a lie is behind all of Émilie’s protests and social media outcries. Émilie is forced to retell what happened that night over and over again as she becomes emotional by the reminder of her boyfriend’s death. Meanwhile, the detectives on the other side of the table ask her to replay the events every time as they consider whether she was actually there at all. As a new country introduced, we also start to get to know the new team behind the interviewing, to kick the first episode off there’s clear tension but ultimately seem an interesting team to watch for the next few episodes.

Criminal France Episode 2

In episode two, we turn to Caroline as the suspect. This story was a bit of a boring one. There seems to be a lot of animosity within the police team and this element has become more of the tale in this series rather than the solving of crimes and the interviewing of suspects. By the end of the interrogation, there didn’t seem to be much of a conclusion. Instead, we are left with the chief inspector who we are more concerned about again changing the course of the series away from the interview room. Additionally, there’s an extremely irritating detective who is unbearably hot-headed that it just seems unnatural that she’s revolved in this process, the only thing she does it blow up scenes and again defect away from the interesting cases of the series. Bit of a shame, this episode.

Criminal France Episode 3

Lastly, Jérôme comes in as the third suspect ending the twelve suspects across all segments. This is the best episode of France. Tackling such an important problem, this episode explores a hate crime which should never exist. Jérôme is the suspect of a murder where a man was horrifically beaten to death for being who he is. This episode entangles in the detectives fighting for the truth having no clue where the interview is heading. The balance has returned between the importance of the interrogation and the detectives’ squabbles, particularly with a nice summarising end to the issues from episode two. This episode definitely redeemed the series ending with a lot more potential.