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Connor Macgregor Reviews...Miniseries/TV Movies


⬆️ Is that Julia Ormond?
Iím here only on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays. Thatís why Iím here now.

Very middle class, yet with an aspiration of poshness and a tendancy to look down and judge.
Isn't that what middle class is? Certainly in the UK, but pretty much elsewhere too?

I know this isn't about the actual programme so if you wish to answer privately or not at all, that's ok.

Also @Stirchely; yes that is Julia Ormond.
5-time MoFo Award winner.

I just got this vibe that everyone was unlikeable and a bit unpleasant and out of touch. Living in remote villages in upscale houses, and as I'll talk a bit later on, random sub plots that just show up midway through the story out of nowhere.

Just not a very likable family at all.

I'm not disagreeing with you. I wasn't interested in the programme so I didn't watch it, but you were talking about the middle classes and added that they also aspired to more, looked down on people and judged. That's part of what the middle class are, so to put it as an addition just seemed unnecessary to me.

Ah ok, probably didn't think much about what you said. Apologies.

I've always tried to view in my eyes the middle class as a realistic goal for today's up and coming families as ridiculous goals like filthy rich and being famous seems like a selfish goal a lot of my generation and the one after me seem to really aim for. These characters just seem ill and lack any sort of authenticity. Maybe its the actors, or the way the story is written. I dunno. But I didn't gel with this family.

Connor Macgregor Reviews...Gold Digger - Episode Two

INTRO: Continuing with Gold Digger now as the story of Julia & Benjamin intensifies when the family and loved ones get embroiled in the relationship in various ways.

SUMMARY: Patrick and Della remain suspicious of Benjamin's intentions and they decide to spy on him. They eventually catch Benjamin in a compromising situation which could potentially end his relationship with Julia. Meanwhile, Della struggles to come on terms with her ex-girlfriend after learning that she is back in London.

THOUGHTS: So I won't lie, the mystery revolving around Benjamin gets more interesting. Patrick & Della go investigating and come across some curious information about him which makes Benjamin all the more mysterious and grey. The central character of this episode is Della, played by Jemima Ropper. I found this character a bit annoying. It's a trope I've seen in a lot of characters over time - the self loathing mess who dresses grunge like, too busy reflecting over past mistakes, rather than doing the mature thing and moving on. The sub plot with her ex is irritating and one I didn't really care for. Lastly is the fight sequence, which really comes out of nowhere, though it does give Julia some much needed depth in this episode.

RATING: 65% - B

Connor Macgregor Reviews...Gold Digger - Episode Three

INTRO: We move further now into this story with new perspectives and stories being shared, as well as the central mystery being explored further.

SUMMARY: While visiting Julia at her home in Devon, Benjamin meets her former best friend, Marsha and he learns of Julia's relationship with her ex-husband, Ted. Patrick and Della pay Julia a visit where they show her evidence of Benjamin's infedelity. However, Benjamin clears up the misunderstanding after being confronted by Julia, and their relationship grows stronger. He eventually moves into her home much to Leo's chagrin. While walking along the cliffs, Benjamin proposes to Julia who immediately accepts.

THOUGHTS: I'll start with what I liked. The rural locations of this story are great. Vivid, beautiful, very aspirational. The stuff I didn't like sadly outshines the good. I found the dialogue here very stiff. Very conventional. Boring perhaps. It took me out of the story early on and therefore didin't properly engage me in what was going on, the different points of view, and developing these characters. There's also the repetitiveness of the music. Same style, same ideas, and therefore gets old very quickly. While the central mystery still maintains interest, it does lag here and makes me feel downright bored throughout this whole episode.

RATING: 62% - B

Connor Macgregor Reviews...Gold Digger - Episode Four

INTRO: Episode Four amps up the ante a bit, allowing the story to develop and reveal new traits and sides to characters often not explored thus far.

SUMMARY: Julia informs Ted of her engagement to Benjamin. He retaliates by proposing to Marsha, with whom he had an affair with, but she rejects him because of Julia. Meanwhile, Julia announces their engagement to her children during Christmas dinner, but they do not take it very well. Determined to protect their mother's wealth, Patrick persuades Julia to sign a pre-nup. It is also revealed that Julia's relationship with Ted was an abusive one.

THOUGHTS: Ted's perspective is ultimately a very interesting one to watch. One who is eager to one up her wife as she prepares to move on from him finally. The proposal is awkward and almost cringe to watch, but not in a bad way. In a way that makes you see what he is trying to do, and therefore you just can't help but feel embarrassed almost. Regarding the rest of the episode, the dialogue is still stiff and unimaginative therefore baring down the quality of the story and series overall. I also found the fast engagement within the series's timeline weird. Very suspicious and unchallenged by Julia, which could be argued as bad writing.

RATING: 71% - B+

Connor Macgregor Reviews...Gold Digger - Episode Five

INTRO: Episode Five of Gold Digger shifts the focus onto Leo, the youngest of Julia's children and a character I found quite irritating here in this episode.

SUMMARY: While celebrating Leo's 25th birthday, Benjamin's half-brother, Kieron shows up unexpected. This arouses more suspicion, prompting Julia to travel to Benjamin and Kieron's hometown where she discovers Benjamin's secret. Meanwhile, Leo befriends Kieron who inspires him to build a business venture, but Julia refuses to invest in it after being influenced by Benjamin. Leo retaliates by leaving her to live with Ted which upsets Julia.

THOUGHTS: Now the story amps up more as Julia's suspicions build and culminate in a juicy ending of the episode, where Benjamin's origins are apparently revealed. I found the ending intriguing and definitely tempted me to move on to episode six. I found the perspective of the young son almost unnessacary as he isn't a very appealing or sympathetic character at all, and instead comes off like a bit of a brat throughout. His relationship with his dad is also a bit weird, as well as his potential step sister too. Once again, the music here is just very tedious and distracting, taking me out of the story almost completely.

RATING: 73% - B+

Connor Macgregor Reviews...Gold Digger - Episode Six

INTRO: The last episode of this story is in my eyes the best one, but that's not saying it's perfect by any means. But after a flawed fun, this final episode is well made yet flawed once again.

SUMMARY: It's the day of the wedding and Julia is reeling from the revelations of Benjamin's past. She flees from the wedding, but Benjamin eventually finds her. After learning Benjamin's side of the story, Julia faces the ultimate decision that will determine her future.

THOUGHTS: Of course, episode six builds from the last episode's ending but also provides a twist in this final episode, which changes the dynamic between Julia & Benjamin considerably. I liked it, and allowed Benjamin his own time and space to tell his side of the story as the majority of this series is told from the perspective of people suspicious or antagonistic to him. It's refreshing and important to know. The performances of course in this last episode are dramatic and good. Everyone proves well on screen, and gives convincing and impactful work. There is however story threads left in the air, and therefore can be slightly frustrating knowing that this story isn't really going to continue.

RATING: 75% - B+

Connor Macgregor Reviews...Twice Upon A Time
Episode One - Ne Me Quitte Pas

INTRO: The premise of this absolutely intrigued me, as well as the cast involved. I'd made a daring attempt to try more international television as a means to further broaden my cultural horizon and this little miniseries felt like a nice starting point.

SUMMARY: Months after breaking up with his girlfriend Vincent mistakenly receives a box containing a wooden cube. Investigating it he discovers it is a portal to the past -- a past which he and his girlfriend are still together.

THOUGHTS: There's definitely some nice ideas introduced here regarding time travel. The cube concept isn't new, but not common enough either. I could tell this was a similar that of the film 'Primer' which while I haven't seen, I'm eager to watch at some point later down the line. With that, the story has a very downer and bleak tone to it, one which feels slightly irritating and very baffling to have. There is this real sense of melancholy bedded in which made the drama a bit lacking in personality.

The highlight thus far is Freya Mavor, who I've always enjoyed and really like here in this story. She plays a very troubled character here who holds a lot of turmoil and angst. The ending of this episode takes us by surprise, but is ultimately the set up for the rest of the story and for the central character Vincent's journey.

Last thing to note is some of the nudity, which is quite graphic for my regular TV viewing. A lot of shots of body parts not often depicted on TV or even cinema that often.

RATING: 73% - B+

Connor Macgregor Reviews...Twice Upon A Time
Episode Two - Reviens

INTRO: Following the set up of episode one, we continue exploring this new concept with episode two of Twice Upon A Time.

SUMMARY: Vincent's journeys into the past complicate his present life as he tries to avoid whatever cost his relationship with Louise to end. Meanwhile the owners of the cube send the original delivery man to Vincent's home to recover it.

THOUGHTS: The story takes new and interesting directions, one of which is a fallout from the ending of episode one which presents quite an interesting moral conflict for Vincent as he continues to travel between both timelines. The delivery guy is also a new obstacle for Vincent, as he begins to trace the cube back to his address and eager to get it delivered to the right people.

The downside for this episode is the struggle to go between both timelines and to think which is the present day, and which is the past. It's often confusing and could potentially loose focus on the story, especially when there isn't much clues to tell whether Vincent is in the past or present day.

RATING: 71% - B+

Connor Macgregor Reviews...Twice Upon A Time
Episode Three - Ti Amo

INTRO: Things get a bit dry in this episode as Twice Upon A Time continues...

SUMMARY: Vincent's obsession with visiting Louise in the past jeopardizes his current relationships, especially with his young son. Although he tries to use the cube outside of his basement to prove his story, it doesn't work.

THOUGHTS: The quality of the miniseries goes down with this episode as this episode is a lot more dull and not very thrilling. Vincent's character arc takes him towards a more stalky/obsessive route as he tries obsessively to prevent Louise from meeting her eerie fate. His behaviour is not particulary healthy and ultimately causes him and Louise to break down. There is also this subplot with Vincent's other ex, which really doesn't go anywhere at all, particularly when a scene between the two of them in a kitchen takes a twist considered unneeded and random.

RATING: 63% - B

Connor Macgregor Reviews...Twice Upon A Time
Episode Four - Hymme a l'amour

INTRO: We reach the end of this fascinating miniseries, which may have sounded good on paper than actually executed.

SUMMARY: Vincent is determined to save Louise's life even if it means giving her up; but fate seems to have the upper hand. The cube is finally located by its owner, with dire results.

THOUGHTS: So overall, there are some good ideas in this little series. The concept of how the time travel works is a neat one. Not overtly fantasy led, nor too complex that its confusing. Performances overall are strong, with Freya Mavor being the best out of everyone. With this episode, everything sort of ends on an anticlimatic note. Without revealing the ending, I was left with a lot more questions than I was answers and the ending just left things hanging without any hint of a resolution.

RATING: 72% - B+

Connor Macgregor ReviewsÖQueer As Folk
Episode One

INTRO: Queer As Folk is the show that introduced the world to the wonderful writings of Russell T Davies. Iíve covered two of his shows so far on this forum, and so now I go back to the show that made him and carved his own niche spot on British TV. We travel all the way back to 1999, almost a different era altogether. And Queer As Folk is the show.

SUMMARY: Handsome and arrogant, Stuart Jones can have anybody he wants on the Manchester gay club scene and knows it, as do his less confident friends Vince, whom he knew from their school days, and Phil. One night Stuart picks up inexperienced but eager twink Nathan and takes him home for a good seeing-to, subsequently discovering that, at fifteen and still at school, the boy is legally too young for gay sex. Their session is interrupted by news that Alfie, a baby, sired by Stuart for his lesbian friends Lisa and Romey, has been born and he visits in the hospital. Next morning Vince drops Nathan off at school but graffiti on his car alerts the other kids to the fact that Nathan is gay.

THOUGHTS: The first episode of any show always introduces the world, and this show does it very well with Canal Street vibrant, fun, and of course Ė very gay! Gay life seems very fun and relaxing. Clubs that allow you to unwind and be oneís self, happy with who they are without fear, intimidation or bullying. The three central characters Stuart, Vince & Nathan are all introduced well here, with their basic personalities shining and prominent on screen. The cutaway monologues on camera are cute, and let you in on their thoughts, opinions and perspectives on life and being gay. The only criticisms are that the episode is a bit too short for me, with the runtime only over thirty minutes through this episode, and thus the whole series roundly orbits around this time. Also some of the acting from the supporting characters can be at times lacking and not very animated. Thankfully itís not as distracting as I thought itíd be and is only sidelined to many minor characters.

RATING: 76% - B+

Connor Macgregor Reviews...Queer As Folk
Episode Two

INTRO: After the strong first episode, Episode Two opens up more of the characters and brings up their doubts, fears, dreams and deceptive personalities.

SUMMARY: Nathan's mother Janice,separated from his father Roy,discovers her son's gay magazines whilst Nathan tells best friend Donna how he feels about Stuart. Vince is still in the closet at work and feels awkward when new employee Rosalie fancies him and asks him on a date,which he reluctantly attends. He is grateful for a call from Stuart and,claiming a family emergency,meets his friend for a drink. Nathan turns up and Stuart starts to find him obsessive as he has no desire to curb his promiscuity for him and,after arranging a date with another man,drives Nathan back to the boy's home.

THOUGHTS: Straight from the first episode, we continue the development of the central three characters as they go on these interesting journeys. Vinceís work life develops an interesting new turn for him as one of his female colleagues develops a crush on him which must be either a very awkward thing for a gay man, or something quite amusing. I also always enjoy the night life scenes and Russell T Davies does a great job at writing it as this very relaxed safe space that allows people to unwind and chill out. The three central characters all utilise this space much to their own desires and I find it very comforting being there and embracing the loosened fun of the environment. I also found this episode more funny than episode one, with jokes being quite well done and found to liven the story up more.

RATING: 72% - B+

Connor Macgregor Reviews...Queer As Folk
Episode Three

INTRO: Episode Three kicks things up a notch for Queer As Folk and makes the show all the more loose and wild, with a little bit of risk thrown in.

SUMMARY: After Nathan tells Donna how Stuart dumped him,she expresses her low opinion of the older man and takes her friend off to the Canal Street clubs to get a new boyfriend. Here they meet Vince's liberal-minded mother Hazel and her lodger, Bernard, an elderly gay. Vince sees Rosalie in a gay pub and has to pretend that he is a straight man on his first venture into such a place. He meets up with his camp friend Alexander,who has returned from a holiday abroad with a non-English-speaking male prostitute,who wanders off. Vince,Alexander and another friend Dane have a bizarre encounter with a very strange gay,which ends in a drastic escape through a window. Phil,meanwhile,picks up the suave Harvey,with whom he does drugs but Phil collapses and Harvey steals his wallet,leaving him to die.

THOUGHTS: Episode Three introduces a set of new characters, namely Sean from Coronation Street as a very colourful and vibrant character. The episode is loose, fun and continues to develop the central characters at an easy pace. I love how they use Nathan here, making him a bit more stalky and well, teenagery. Heís young, lustful and very annoying but very cute to watch. A venue used here called The Babylon night club is great and very out of this world and makes me eager as a viewer to go and party there myself. The conclusion of this episode is a surprise and quite out of field, one that is going to have ripple effects into episode four, and very much a thing that could happen still today in many scenarios.

RATING: 84% - A-

Connor Macgregor Reviews...Queer As Folk
Episode Four

INTRO: A funeral, A developing romance, and a runaway. Queer As Folk continues to take its three central characters on a fascinating journey.

SUMMARY: Stuart and Vince are among the mourners at Phil's funeral in his small natal village. His mother is distraught and expresses her view that he might still be alive had he not led a gay lifestyle. At the wake, Vince meets the slightly older Cameron, an Australian who was Phil's accountant and they hit it off. Nathan plays a play for Christian Hobbs, a boy from his school, who goes along with things but then betrays him. After Janice has confronted him about being gay he ends up at Hazel's, becoming her second lodger.

THOUGHTS: Episode Four begins with a funeral, as it follows with the previous episodeís somewhat grim and sudden ending. It feels very real and relatable, as it's both a solemn and sad affair, but also full of cheeky conversations and fond recall of a personís life. I liked the interaction and the casualness of it all, and I felt relaxed despite it being a sudden funeral due to quite dark actions. Nathan continues to explore the world of gay nightlife, though is developing a growing sense of weirdness yet it is quite cute to watch. I also like the growing little conflict that Vince has about hiding his sexuality or letting it out to a colleague who really likes him, though she is female. Itís a fun dilemma to watch unfold.

RATING: 81% - A-

Connor Macgregor Reviews...Queer As Folk
Episode Five

INTRO: We pick up some fun threads from Episode four, and introduce some new relationships.

SUMMARY: Hazel feels that Nathan is taking advantage of her when he stays out all night after meeting a boy called Dazz and she and Janice become closer friends as they wonder what to do for the best. Vince is much cheered when he gets a call from Cameron, as a result of which they go out on a date. Stuart gets a visit from his sister Marie, who asks him to babysit her two sons but he is terrible with children and inevitably lets her down. As a result, she bluntly informs him that their parents are getting divorced.

THOUGHTS: Episode Five sees Vince get a date with Cameron from the funeral and you do get the sense that he is someone that may be well paired for him in the long run. I like Cameron. Heís definitely more mature and older for Vince, and someone who has his life all worked out and perfectly placed. We also learn a bit more about Stuartís background and really opens his character up more, allowing Aidan Gillen to give some great performances. We also see Nathan embracing the gay nightlife more, and really finding his new self in this gay-friendly environment.

RATING: 71% - B+

Connor Macgregor Reviews...Queer As Folk
Episode Six

INTRO: Family dynamics come to head in this episode and it makes for some crackin TV.

SUMMARY: Marie and Stuart go to see their parents to discuss matters but the whole relationship is fraught and matters are not helped by the fact that Stuart has never told his parents that he is gay. Vince,however,is much cheered by the attentions of Cameron,whom he begins to date,and who charms Hazel when they visit her. Nathan's rebellious attitude is,however,causing a problem so Stuart,actually admitting some liability for a change,agrees to talk to the boy. Unfortunately when they arrive at Janice's house,her estranged husband Roy is there and he makes his feelings about Stuart very clear. Stuart retaliates in flippant fashion,leaving the house with Nathan and leaving matters unresolved. Stuart also learns that Romey,displeased at his failure to visit his son,is planning to marry Lance,an African in order to give him British citizenship.

THOUGHTS: We see in this episode the true extent of Stuartís relationship with his family, namely his father. Itís a fairly interesting and sadly common. The relationship with his father has so much gap to it that perhaps his father has already figured out who Stuart is, and is silently disapproving of it. Continuing with fathers, we also see Nathanís father for the first time who is one real angry bastard. He has that full out homophobic working class mantra about him that boys need to be men and not little fancy pants boys who are overtly feminine. I love the music throughout the entire episode and allows me to jump at my phone to search for the song.

RATING: 85% - A-