Queue Total

284 MOVIES (released titles only)

Note: Real spoilers are in black text on a black background. Highlight the black areas to read the spoilers.

Queue Numbers

#50- Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

#100- Black Swan

#200- Mysteries of Lisbon

Last- Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Whatever Works

Whatever Works (2009)

Writer: Woody Allen
Director: Woody Allen
Starring: Larry David, Evan Rachel Wood, Patricia Clarkson, blah, blah, blah

woody allen played by larry david transforms uptight conservative southerners into trendy new yorkers (their true selves) with the power of his whining paranoia and negative outlooks on life.

Yeah, I am also pretty-well done with the standard Allen fare at this point.  I love some of his movies (Annie Hall, Everything..., Manhattan) and I think that Leila would really like Everyone Says I Love You but I have too much invested in my marriage to put that in front of her.  This was Woody Allen to the point of being boring. If anything it shows that he's a better director than he is a writer.

Maybe he should team up with Kevin Smith.

The Woman
this was like the unholy union, axis of evil for me. i hate woody allen. i hate larry david. i don't appreciate anything they have to say. i don't think they're funny and i think woody allen has been making the same "comedy" movie for the last, what, 30 years? 40 years? in this they join their dark powers for mediocrity in this movie. i don't know what is attractive about a constant complaining old man to a teenager. it's gross. in real life and in this movie. it's also not realistic. just because mr. writer/director bagged himself a teenage asian daughter doesn't mean this scenario is something that would happen. it was also maddeningly predictable. woody allen vomit. his drama is way more inventive and i could be prodded to say i even appreciate it. some of it. two of them. maybe one and a half of them. was the one with ian mcshane a dramatic one? or was that comedy? i can't remember, hence that's the one i'm counting as a half.

Fears of the Dark

Fears of the Dark (2007)

Writers: Charles Burns, Romain Slocombe, Blutch, Pierre Di Sciullo, Jerry Kramsky, Richard McGuire, Michel Pirus
Directors: Blutch, Charles Burns, Marie Caillou, Pierre Di Sciullo, Lorenzo Mattotti, Richard McGuire

A series of animated shorts about fear, mostly in black and white.

The Woman
good. good animation. i think it's hard to come up with original horror plot lines. these definitely fell into the same sort of horror categories. i appreciated the length. sometimes i think collections of shorts go on too long and i stop paying attention. i did sort of find myself mentally wandering away from the last one so i say good call on that being the last one. i liked the varying style of animation while still following the black and white theme. it's always a pleasure to see interpretations of guidelines by different artists.

This one definitely exceeded my expectations.  One of the best things about it to me was how the shorts were similar enough that they could be intercut, diverse enough that you could tell when the cuts happened, and edited well enough that the cuts were an asset rather than a liability.

Each piece has its pros and cons, but there were far more pros than cons.  Leila made the point about halfway through that there are only so many basic horror stories available, but we agreed that the takes in these films were far enough above the middle to eliminate that as a large concern.

It's kind of difficult to talk about this one, not because of spoilers, but because plotting isn't a very large concern.  Suffice it to say: This was pretty cool and if you don't mind subtitles you will very likely be both entertained and intellectually stimulated.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

Writer: Michael Bacall, Edgar Wright (screenplay) Bryan Lee O'Malley (graphic novel)
Director: Edgar Wright
Starring: Michael Cera

scott pilgrim is in a band and has gone through terrible heart ache. he's tried to move on with several other chicks, but they just don't cut the mustard because he's still terribly depressed. enter ramona flowers, literally the girl of his dreams, but he must defeat her seven evil exes before relationship bliss can be attained.

Yes, this was a good time.  Yes it was produced well.  Yes it was directed well.  Yes it was acted (reasonably) well.  Yes, the writing was fairly decent and there were subplots and you felt that there was a real back story to practically every character with more than two lines.  Jason Schwarzman was a little too much, but that was almost certainly the point.


It was also repetitive.  This wouldn't have been a very big deal, all things considered, except that every time it repeated itself it acted like it was showing us something completely new and completely cool.  The tricks were neater the first time than the seventh. 

Critically, it was just too smug. Consumerally, it was a blast.

The Woman
i enjoyed this greatly. it was a great way to translate a graphic novel (that i have not read) into cinema. dialog great. a good surprise because i didn't have high expectations going into it, but, yay. good job. check plus one for recommending.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Nightmare on Elm Street

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

Writer: Wesley Strick, Eric Heisserer
Director: Samuel Bayer
Starring: the short guy who knocks up his girl in "breaking away", Rooney Mara, Kyle Gallner

you know

The Woman
this was waaaay more molester-y and not very similar to the original. the great thing about wes craven's stuff is the slight tongue and cheek, camp quality, while still freaking the fuck out of pre-teens everywhere. this was like it was an attempt at gore porn, but without the gore porn. vacuous. all the teens get killed pretty quickly and with no suspense either. a perfect example of why reboots are terrible and a bad idea. although...i watched it...damn.

as stupid as this sounds i had problems with the credibility too. it wasn't congruent in it's suspension of disbelief. because freddie was such a pedophile preschool molester, why would he be interested in teens at all. they've gone through puberty and their bodies have become too adult similar. thanks SVU. i realize he's just killing them, but at the end it's like he's trying to rape nancy. she's got boobs now. that doesn't make sense. also no sleep studies, no streak of white hair as she pulls the hat out of thin air. it was all just kill, kill, kill- oh, we know why he's haunting us and killing us. he was our molester!

Toy Story 3

Toy Story 3 (2010)
Written by Michael Arndt, John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich
Directed by Lee Unkrich

Now the kid is 17 and he's going off to college.  The toys are all worried about their fates.  Their adventures take them to a daycare.

The Woman
the kid liked this one. i think it would just make me more paranoid to get rid of any of my toys as a child. it could have inspired generations of hoarders. good job pixar! i don't really get why everyone thought this was so amazing. i much prefer WALL-E myself. the plot was very similar to the second one in the way of a new environment that is thought to be super fantastic and turns out to be terrible. and as moster was crying next to me at the end i was just thinking that they are just delaying the inevitable neglect/tag sale/ donation/ separation/ attic. usually moster is the glass is half empty one in our lives, but this brought it out in me. shme. nothing special.

ps randy newman is intolerable.

Let me say upfront that I am, in this context, PHRANDOMENALLY gay.  I bawled my fucking eyes out for the last 15 minutes of the movie.  And it was worthy of those tears because it was an emotional movie.  However, at the end of the day I'm a grownup and as such I can separate those feelings enough to say that while the movie was perfectly fine it was not as super-flantastic as I was led to believe.

Which is not to say that it was bad.  By no means was it bad.  I vaguely remember the first one and I don't even know if I saw the second one, but it seems to me that the story would have grown up along with the characters.  There are three plots here, and they converge into a perfectly satisfying denouement (and then the tears).  Emotions other than sillysadness all play out well, and the story itself is good.  Tension rides a good rollercoaster.

I also appreciate how the story doesn't really shy away from the notion that the toys spend most of their time idle and that they have true sadness and longing.  The way the film builds this up in the beginning is what makes the ending so emotional, and that's definitely the best part of the experience.  Almost certainly it's the reason why so many people identified with it so much.

So, yeah.  It's fucking "Toy Story 3."  To my mind it's not as good as Wall-E but it's still a very good movie.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

In a Dream

In a Dream

Director: Jeremiah Zagar

the story of Isaiah Zagar who is an artist in philidelphia. he does these massive mosaic murals and coats buildings inside and out, top to bottom in mosaics. and, of course. like most cool artists, he is a little mentally ill. it's also the story about his wife and their marital journey.

I wasn't giving this 100% attention, but the art was cool and the artist was a dick.  That said, he was almost always encouraged in his dickery by the people to whom he was a dick.  Therefore I didn't care too much about either party.

The format here was a pretty basic chronology--nothing special--and I would have liked it more if we saw more of the art and less of the people's faces.

The Woman
 the documentary itself was ok. it was one of those docs where i feel something was missing that i couldn't quite put my finger on. the art was pretty amazing. it's worth watching just for that, in my opinion. his art is just the story of his life with his family and his obsession with his wife. i'm envious of his journals which i always aspire to do and never stick with it. oh well. defeatist attitude prevails.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Away We Go

Away We Go (2009)

Written by Dave Eggers, Vendela Vida (to whose parents I wish to give an award)
Directed by Sam Mendes
Starring John Krasinski, Maya Rudloph, NOT Allison Janney NOT Maggie Gyllenhall's boob

Young couple somewhat unexpectedly conceives a child.  They go on the road to learn about the potential home cities available to them.  Will they learn about themselves along the way?

The Woman
 i enjoyed this movaay. as moster said we are it's target audience. not only our age group, but our type of people. sometimes i have problems not thinking of "idiocracy" when watching a movie with maya rudolph. not that her performance as an actor reminds me of her character, i just look back fondly at that fantastically wonderful and true piece of cinema. they both did a good job in the dry humor that was contained in this movie. yay. good job everybody. subtle. and a good movie for film class with all the thought that was put into the writing. 

This was a good movie.  It's the kind of movie which starts in couples conversations which may test the strength of their relationship.  It's tough to call the story original, exactly, but it adheres to its requirements extremely well. Above-average direction--one pair of shots in particular caused me to make sure the Knitter had seen them--was a well-appreciated bonus rather than a requirement of the material.  And while the acting of the principals could have undone this endeavor it would almost have to have been malicious to overcome the level of the supporters.

This is all about the details of the story, and they're pretty great all the way through.  The story answers the question of many people in my relative category: Am I a fuckup?  And it does this by showing the characters that they are, along with just about every single other motherfucker on the entire planet.  It's a road movie in almost the best sense of the term, putting the characters in ridiculous situations which are unique to each stop.  It has a heart and while it treats some choices of the supporters with more respect than others, it does so accurately (at least to my mind, which is why I feel like the writers of this movie have installed the software which makes this computer so slow).  When the couple reach a conclusion which could have been evident from early on it doesn't really matter because they got there on a convincing path.

(There was actually one scene which practically had "PLOT DEVICE" in flashing text at the bottom of the screen but in the words of Leonard Nimoy, nobody's perfect.)

We are the target demographic of this movie, to the point where it's almost eerie.  And it hit close enough to home.  I started writing this at a three, but now I'm thinking maybe it'll get that extra point.  Maybe I just won't argue either way.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Filth and Wisdom

Filth and Wisdom (2008)

Writer: Madonna, Dan Cadan
Director: Madonna
Starring: Eugene Hutz, Holly Weston, Vicky McClure

3 roomates live together above a blind poet. one's a druggist who wants to go to africa to help young children with AIDS. one is a ballet dancer starting out in the stripper biz. one is a ukranian in a punk (?) band who is a male version of a dominatrix...what is that a dominator?

I always get a kick out of things when I enjoy a movie more than The Illustrious Woman.  I want to be clear that this wasn't good--it would actually play better as a series of clips on YouTube--but I had fun.  The one Ukranian dude was strangely entertaining to me, and the way he approached is Dominator job was fun to watch.

The stories surrounding those interesting scenes were on the shitty side.  I was going to call them rote, but they weren't quite rote.  A racist Indian druggist in London is not an archetype.  A ballerina-cum-stripper kind of is, but not exactly.  A blind poet who loses the will to write when he loses the loses the ability to see is probably the closest to cookie-cutter.  But (and I can't believe I think this) it wasn't approached in a particularly typical way, and the direction wasn't nearly as hacky as (e.g.) what we got from Dolph Lundgren.

This was supposed to be a profound, philosophical study of the dichotomy of human existence and one of its many failures is that it presented itself in that way.  If it had taken itself just a little less seriously then it could have been more successful.  However, we all know that's not Madonna's bag o' balls.

The Woman
there were several times in this movie where the profoundness was so high school girl poetry i wanted to break out my copy of jewel's "a night without armor" and really change my life. the plot was average. it was directed well i guess. good job madonna? but it was a little like watching a feature length music video minus the music. it got boring and old after 20 minutes. it's a good thing it was only an hour more, but i kept checking the counter on the blue-ray and that's never a sign of a good movie.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Back-up Plan

The Back-up Plan (2010)

Writer: Kate Angelo
Director: Alan Poul
Starring: J.Lo, and some other people

a mildly successful woman decides to be inseminated with a baby because she doesn't think she will find a man in time. insemination. man. pregnancy. man. break up. together.

The Woman
let me just tell you i had really low expectations for this steaming pile of dumps, but this fell below those expectations by miles. it started out with promise. there were some funny topics brought up, but then it just got too la la dreamland for me. there is no way a guy would stay with a chick who was a half a second more pregnant than their relationship. no way. especially one who never wanted to have children in the first place. throughout the movie he dove more and more into asshole, and she fell more and more into weirdo with abandonment issues. all the funny things about pregnancy were left by the wayside with all the focus on their entirely dysfunctional relationship. there wasn't even the standard romantic comedy funny sidekick friend to rely on. stooooopid. i took one for the world by watching this. no one else ever has to now.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Kick- Ass

Kick- Ass (2010)

Writer: Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughn (screenplay) Mark Millar & John Romita Jr (comic)
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Starring: Aaron Johnson, Chloe Moretz, Nicolas Cage

OK.  High school kid gets pissed and decides to become a superhero.  Jinks cause him to become slightly more super.  Jinks also cause him to be confused for another crime-fighting duo in the form of Nicholas Cage and his young daughter.  There is also McLovin.

The Woman 
this wasn't really what i was expecting. i knew it was violent and stuff, but i thought it was going to be a little more mainstream movie average. i enjoyed it, but i didn't love it. i appreciated the violence, but it seemed more of a big daddy/ hit girl story than a kick-ass story. i realize they are more comic hero typed, and the whole point of the movie was the random hero...i don't know. it was an original approach, i suppose (soon to be challenged by james gunn's super). it gets points in my book for not being predictable, but i guess one of the problems with our delayed gigantor netflix queue is that we hear all the hype and how much people love it months, sometimes years before we watch it, and i go in with expectations.

Hmm.  This was mostly fun.  It was... I don't want to say unique exactly, but different.  Unlike my woman, my expectations were practically nonexistent.  Things unfolded in a slightly unpredictable way (sometimes).  Critically it was just fine.  Acting, production, direction, all that crap reek of a bigger budget than I expect it had.  Nicholas Cage gave an actually-reserved performance for about 80% of his screen time.  I fear that we'll never see the one kid again, so I hope he got a fair amount of money.

The story itself was, as I said, a little different.  It was also a little bizarre.  The one problem I had was one which it shares with Will Smith Vanity Project #4,623,794:  There's a pretty young kid involved in some pretty heavy violence.  But if you can get over that you can suspend the rest of the disbelief and have a good time.

Someone who I can no longer remember recommended this to me; and I have no difficulty in recommending it to y'all.

Date Night

Date Night (2010)

Writer: Josh Klausner
Director: Shawn Levy
Starring:  Steve Carell, Tina Fey

a suburban married couple with two kids goes on a date night for adventure in the city to escape their humdrum existence. hijinks ensue.

This was funny.  It wasn't shpadanamalously funny, like the original Death at a Funeral, but it was funny.  It was funny enough that the trailer, while funny, didn't include the funniest of the jokes.  The situation as it unfolds doesn't become overly ridiculous for quite some time; and that helps us to see how this sort of thing would just continue to get too far out of hand.  While it's easy to criticize the choices of some of the characters, that is not the point of the movie.

Fey and Carrell have great chemistry here, and I wouldn't mind seeing them become a more intellectually satisfying Hanks/Ryan (or, better, Crystal/Ryan; but I lost that argument with America a long fucking time ago).  Some of the marriage stuff is a little too close to home, but that does more to bring viewers in than to alienate them.

We might argue 3 vs 4 on this one because while I thought it was a fully-competent, uninsulting, high-three I didn't think it really crossed that line into uncharted territory.  That said, married or not you should totally watch this movie.

(Yes, I understand the superfluousness of recommending to y'all a movie which was hugely popular almost a year ago.)

The Woman
i laughed a lot. this was the perfect mix of too true and severe ridiculousness. during the credits were outtakes which made me realize a lot of the dialog /jokes were improv, which endears this movie even more. marky mark has to be given semi props for a good job being the post in which carrell bounces off of to make funnyness happen. that's all. if you haven't seen it by now you probably should.

my favorite line is the i have to go home and fart in a shoe box. there i've ruined it all for you, not really.

moster let go of the damn crystal ryan bull. he's too old for her. that one movie isn't that great.


Otis (2008)

Writer: Erik Jendresen, Thomas Schnauz
Director: Tony Krantz
Starring: Kirk Cameron's sister( little chrissy seaver), Ileana Douglas. Daniel Stern, Bostin Christopher, knockoff Dennis Leary

There's a serial killer named Otis, who kidnaps a hot, smart teenage girl (it's unclear if she's a junior or a senior).  What will happen to her?  How will her family react?

The Woman 
good n'campy. this isn't really a horror movie as nothing horror movie really happens, but it was a good mildly funny homage to horror movies. the ending was kind of weak, but i could also be a little perturbed that a certain product of our loins woke up from his nap and we turned it off with a whole 3 minutes left. that;s our fault, by the way. the result is an abrupt and questioned ending that i wasn't expecting. i guess it gets more points for that though. hm. a pleasant surprise.

This exceeded the expectation which it set in the first ten minutes or so (in addition to the fact that there was none of the standard Blu-Ray rigamarole to get the movie).  The acting was pretty good, all things considered, with that dude who always plays the asshole playing a super-asshole cop/FBI guy.  Production was also a little better than one would think.  The fun of the film comes as much from the acting as the writing; and there's a good amount of personalization of the roles.  How things play out in the last half-hour actually kept us both guessing; and that's no mean feat.

I always feel like I should write more, especially when I'm recommending things.  But this film does not require a lot of critical dissection.  It was a good, gory time.  If you like things like that you'll like this.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

All Good Things

All Good Things (2010)

Writer: Marcus Hinchey, Marc Smerling
Director: Andrew Jarecki
Starring: Ryan Gosling (of "young hercules" fame) Kirsten Dunst, Fran Langella

a seemingly normal guy from a powerful manhattan real estate family marries a middle class chick from long island. turns out he's way messed up. true story crime movie.

The Woman
not bad. i am an avid bill kurtis fan, and mildly obsessed investigation discovery channel watcher so i have seen more than one thing about this case. this movie did a good job creating suspense and interest. it was directed fairly well too. other than that i don't have too much to say because i don't want to give anything away. the ending was kind of disappointing in the way that real life stuff usually goes. if you have nothing better to watch and you've ODed on lifetime, this is a higher budget better produced movie you could view. that's a pretty harsh statement that i didn't mean to sound so bad. it's not a bad movie.

Friday, May 6, 2011

She-ra Episode 8: The Missing Ax

         wandering through the forest, adora helps a poor little "scruffle" which is a pink puppy unicorn. the horde guardsmen guys want to collect the poor defenseless scruffer for the inter-world famous horde zoo. this has nothing to do with anything else that happens in the plot. it's just to reinforce the fact that the horde is bad mmmkay and she-ra is good. in case you missed it.  it also gives the horde guardsmen a chance to use the super useful at walking and capturing poor baby pink scruffers, but ultra slow and dumb robot. it's no match for she-ra, who can jump and quickly step to the side. oh no! the poor scruffer's paw has been hurt! it's a good thing she-ra can heal things with her glitter sparkle finger.

now onto bow showing off for some young males who seem to worship him. he's really good with his bow and arrow but "weapons are not for kids" he throws out that message. good things. their dad comes out sporting a woman's bathing suit with cut outs on the sides to show his massive obliques. he says something about how his ax is his everything. bow leaves because he has some sort of rendezvous with andora at the aptly named "lavender lake" i don't know why lilac got the shaft there girls. fewer syllables maybe? if lilac had a nickel for every time that happened...

the boys take their father's ax into the woods to do some work and promise to be very responsible with it, but within the span of a minute the leave it on a log to go play and frolic around the frilly fluffy forest. two twiggets find it and take it away to go show madame razz. why? it is the title of the episode. i know you're thinking "twigget" is some sort of slur, but it's just a race of small unintelligent people with lavender skin, and white hair, obsessed with pointy hats and the color green. the boys of course come back and discover their father's reason for living is gone and they are afraid he will think them irresponsible, so instead, they use the susan smith defense. only instead of a fictitious black car hijacker, they say it was a tall man in a purple cloak. i guess this episode's real theme is the various color hues of purple. there is nothing bow hates more than a purple cloaked thief taking advantage of two young boys. so he sets off to the nearest horde controlled village to find "his man".

the fish guy with parkinsons....mantenna, sees bow and calls for back up. bow is running around away from the hoard of horde and just happens to get cornered at the friendly corner market's mirror stand where he bounces mantenna's distortion ray back per usual. he gets captured anyway because he's just that good at escaping.

back to adora who is patiently waiting for bow at the lavender lake's glistening shore, feeding some prairiedog-chicken-lizard-squirrels to pass the time. she wonders what's taking that man so long. she-ra is a better seeker than adora so "by the honor of grayskull" ready or not here she comes. it's a good thing too because she goes to the ax man's house right off the bat who tells her exactly where bow has gone. with her female senses she detects the boys are not being truthful and she breaks them with one question. cowl comes right on cue to tell everybody bow has been taken to the ba-ba-ba-bum! dark mountains!

she-ra throws a giant boulder in the way of the horde's prisoner transport tank. they blow it up haughtily, but they are no match for she-ra, who can jump! the prisoners are set free and they remind me of the mental patients in "strange brew"

bow apparently used his time in prison to write songs and work on his magic. time well spent.

SPOILER! that creature guy was hiding in the marketplace in front of ye olde mirror shoppe.

Observe and Report

Observe and Report (2009)

Writer: Jody Hill
Director: Jody Hill
Starring: Seth Rogen, Anna Farris, Ray Liotta

the head of mall security thinks he is way more of a deal than he actually is. he works the mall to try and solve the case of the pervy male streaker and the thief who has been stealing money from the mall (i don't really know specifically where because i wasn't paying close attention at this point) turns out this dude is bipolar and off his meds, but not in a chuckle way, and not in a seriously fucked up way either.

The thing about this movie is that it was completely committed to itself.  It's difficult to judge based on what I saw whether it was supposed to be a super-duper-ooper-dark comedy about dumb / bad people; or whether it was supposed to be something more like a drama and case study of those same dumb, bad people.  Given that we couldn't tell, it failed, and that's a pretty egregious failure.

There was no real value in watching this.  It was long, bordering on interminable, and uncomfortable in a way which was not amusing.  If it was a joke, I'm proud to say that I missed it.

The Woman
i knew this wasn't really a comedy, but jeebus. what the hell was it? boring and stupid? yep. don't watch this. horrible. everyone in this movie played an asshole except for the coffee chick. seriously, not even remotely likable. we had made the decision just how horrible this movie was by minute 20. then the next time i rolled my eyes, sighing, i looked at the counter and it was at 30 minutes. it's a good thing this was a short movie. i don't think i could have sat there and taken such shite a second more than the hour and 27 minutes. there was no real decision made in the making of this movie. they either should have gone the comedy route, or made it completely violent and fucked up. instead they played the on the fence game and it just made it wishy washy and dumb. if it weren't for our strict rules about our queue and this blog this shit would have been ejected out of the blue ray player and in the mailbox at minute 21. terrible.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard

The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard (2006)

Written by Sally Wainwright
Directed by Simon Curtis, Simon Curtis, Declan Lowney, Declan Lowney, Catherine Morsehead, Catherine Morsehead
Starring Bubble!, Stephen Mackintosh, Jodhi May, Jemma McKenzie-Brown, Janet McTeer

Mrs. Ros Pritchard, in accurately calling out the bullshit of the three politicians who decide to stump in front of the grocery store she manages, starts a political movement which moves her to No. 10 Downing St. within a few months.  (I'm not going to describe the British political system to you).  She's honest, etc. and "not a politician."  Can she make a difference?  Will she keep her promises and be genuine, or will she be discovered to be just another politician?

The Woman
this was good in the way that all british shows are good. those brits have a way of sucking the viewer right in with the writing and the characters. i don't think i enjoyed quite as much as moster, but i think it was a shame that there is only 6 episodes. the first couple episodes were really good and the last group of episodes seemed as though the writers were trying to catch up with the fact that there were only going to be 6. i think there were too many plot points that got thrown in and had to be resolved quicker than they should have been. it also ended in a fairly poor way too. i liked it but i was also disappointed by it.

This one degraded over its six episodes from a high 4 to a mid 3.  It wasn't even State of Play at the beginning, but it did a great job of keeping the energy and joy where they needed to be.  Throughout the six hours, it played my emotions like a middle-class stripper (i.e. I knew I was being played but I could think about it while it was happening).

But I think they bit off a little more than they could chew.  There were plenty of really interesting, well-played characters, and I would have loved to see back story on a couple more of them; but there just wasn't time for what they started, let alone what they didn't.  It seems obvious to me in retrospect that this was intended to be a pilot series which hoped to get picked up for a considerably longer run, maybe to improve what The West Wing left for us; but that just wasn't in the cards and I can see why: The "new girl" card frays pretty quickly.

There was plenty joy here, and I don't want to minimize that.  Jane Horrocks is an actress who doesn't get nearly enough credit, and I plan to annoy my woman by seeking films starring some of those who supported her.  Direction and editing were largely good to great and the production itself felt natural to me.  Writing was very nice in small bits which unfortunately didn't all coalesce.

I recommend this.  This is the sort of thing that I would leave on the television if I came across it in the guide.