Aitch's Sky Round-up

  • The Chicago Code, Thursdays, 9pm, Sky 1
  • Game of Thrones, Mondays, 9pm, Sky Atlantic
  • Dating In The Dark, Tues 9pm, Sky Living

Game of ThronesLadies and gentlemen, if we're going to do this, you have to PAY ATTENTION.

I know, it goes against everything you and I believe in as multi-tasking MNers, but if we're going to be watching the fiendishly complicated swords-and-sorcery show Game of Thrones we must, simply must, put down our laptops and watch closely. It'll be worth it, I promise. Like proper telly back in the olden days <sighs nostalgically>.

By the time you read this, there will have been a few episodes already, so consider this a bit of a catch-up for those of you so busy dreaming about Richard Armitage that you've failed to spot that Sean Bean, the daddy of 'em all, is back on the box. He's playing Eddard 'Ned' Stark, who has been ruling 'the North' for King Robert with just a pointy stick, some full-bodied furs, a Sheffield accent and a dark look, but who is now reluctantly being dragged back to court to serve as the royal right-hand man. (Said court is at King's Landing, by the way. If you get this mixed up with Knot's Landing you will be both disappointed and confused.)

The cast list is pretty much a straight UK Equity download - anyone British and not currently filming The Hobbit is here - with Mark Addy, Iain Glen, Aidan Gillen, Harry Lloyd and Lily Allen's wee brother Alfie, as well as Lena Headey and Michelle Fairley. Even the forriners are playing it English, with the American Peter Dinklage channelling Eddie Izzard to play Tyrion Lannister, dwarf brother of the queen. Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, meanwhile, playing Jaime 'Kingslayer' Lannister, seems to base his entire performance on the thought 'what if Prince Charming from Shrek was real?' Fa-bu-luss, in other words.

The dialogue is as ripe as Deadwood, the plotting as tight as The Wire and the opening credits alone, a thrillingly animated Tolkein-esque map, are worth the price of the admission fee.

Thus far, the Lannisters are the baddies (in case you are wondering how I know this, might I just remind you that at the end of episode one, Jaime casually tossed a small boy out of a window), while the goodies... well, that's a little harder to discern, this being an HBO production. 

Chicago Code

One of the criticisms I had of The Shield was that it was unrelentingly, violently testosterone-driven even when it brought in females of the calibre of Glenn Close, so it is interesting to observe that creator Shawn Ryan's latest show, The Chicago Code, features Flashdance star Jennifer Beales in the lead role, as the city's first female police superintendent Teresa Colvin. And what's more, on the basis of the two episodes I've seen, she seems like a recognisably human creature.

While DCI Jane Tennison spent her off-time staring into the bottom of a whisky glass, and Brenda Leigh Johnson from The Closer is a kook who is forever losing her specs (and her maaaayn), Teresa actually seems like she might be a bit normal. She, like, listens to her staff, confides in them where necessary, believes in upholding the law and seems even to have friends.

"A genuinely absorbing police drama that appears not to trade overly on Teresa Colvin's feminine loveliness, but instead on her ability to do the job and confront those who would do her down with a quiet stoicism rarely seen on the flickering screen"

What is a well-rounded female character doing in a place like this, I hear you ask? Truth is, I have no idea, but on the strength of the first couple of shows I would hazard that she is appearing in a genuinely absorbing police drama that appears not to trade overly on her feminine loveliness, but instead on her ability to do the job and confront those who would do her down with a quiet stoicism rarely seen on the flickering screen.

Thank goodness for the presence of the other cop shop archetypes - wisecracking super-talented and off-beat detective Jareck Wysocki (Jason Clarke) and ghastly, corrupt local politician Alderman Gibbons (Delroy Lindo) - without them we'd have a straight-up television revolution on our hands.

Dating in the darkSo, Dating In The Dark is a lot like MN, you know. Bear with... <deep breath>

People (unkind folks might even say saddos) sit in a pitch-black room with a bunch of strangers because they want to express their 'authentic selves' and be liked on that basis alone. That's us. They often talk utter rubbish. Us. And are grateful that no-one can see what they look like in real life. Us again (or at least me <observes pyjamas>).

The participants of Dating In The Dark have Sarah Harding, ex-Girls Aloud star and all-round glamourpuss, at the helm, ready to poke them when they misbehave, whereas we have Justine, our very own high priestess of the keyboard, to keep us in line. And... Dating In The Dark is occasionally the start of beautiful, beautiful friendships. You see? A LOT like MN.

<switches off light> <aims fingers at keyboard> <puckers up>



Last updated: over 1 year ago