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> TV in 2016: A Retrospective, a visual journey of 2016
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Klaus
post Jan 7 2017, 12:49 PM
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Throughout January, I will hopefully be showcasing the highs and lows of TV in 2016 from my perspective. It may have been a disastrous year in other respects but it gave us some great TV! As always though, there were also some let's say... odd moments. I'll be trying to cover as much as I can so why not feel free to offer your opinions and verdicts as I take a look at the world of TV in 2016!

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Klaus
post Jan 7 2017, 12:55 PM
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SHERLOCK: THE ABOMINABLE BRIDE

Broadcast: January 1st
Channel: BBC One
Ratings: 11.6m




First off is Sherlock which returned on New Year's Day last year for a one-off special which was set in the more traditional Victorian period. It therefore looked like it would have no connection to the overall series until a twist about halfway through explored the fact that it was actually set in Sherlock’s mind. In fact, we learnt that the whole episode took place in the four minute period that Sherlock left and returned in the plane. I hadn’t been particularly excited by the notion of a Victorian special, I felt that it had been done hundreds of times before and there had only been (at that point) 10 episodes in a 7 year time span, making it feel like it was robbing us of a modern day episode. However, it did initially exceed my expectations especially as it allowed the show to focus on one mystery, something that Series 3 failed to give us. The Victorian setting also allowed there to be a more spooky tone which is something I really enjoyed. The initial mystery focuses on a bride who killed herself but has apparently returned from the grave to kill others...

The return to the modern day setting halfway through therefore annoyed me and the fact that it kept flitting between the two periods annoyed me even more. It restricted the enjoyment of the episode as I was embracing the Victorian setting and getting enthralled in the story only for it to end up being completely disrupted. Steven Moffatt’s time on Doctor Who has seen him play a lot with time in the episodes and it was an unfortunate and unnecessary feature that was brought into this episode of Sherlock. It would have been better to have the majority of the episode set in the Victorian period and then maybe switch to the modern day period for the last 10 minutes.

Overall, the episode had a lot of potential but was undermined by an unnecessary wish to subvert audience expectations and force in an overarching story. It is a problem that featured in Series 3 and may be continuing in Series 4. It did at least help set the background for Series 4 in that the story set in the Victorian period helps showcase that Moriaty did actually die but others are working on his behalf... (at least that's what the episode leads us to believe ohmy.gif)
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Klaus
post Jan 7 2017, 01:21 PM
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LIP SYNC BATTLE UK

Broadcast: 8th January - 12th February, 20th December
Episodes: 7
Channel: Channel 5
Ratings: 2.36m - 1.05m




Lip Sync Battle is based on a segment from The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and features stars lip-syncing to their favourite songs. It’s basically a show that does what it says on the tin except that they also dress up for one of their two performances, often with a full-on dance routine to go along with it. While the US has seen Dwayne Johnson, Ben Kingsley, Anne Hathaway, Anna Kendrick and Channing Tatum among other big name stars, the UK hasn’t been as lucky which is probably due to its airing on Channel 5.

Hosted by Mel B and Professor Green, the UK version has only been even more odd with its pick of celebrities and they are mostly all quintessentially British. From Johnny Vegas to Michelle Keegan, the show may have a better line-up than the channel’s celebrity reality show but it’s nothing to set headlines alight. The show itself is also an extremely odd watch because it is just half an hour of people lip-syncing to four songs in total. A concept that is fun for 5/10 minutes, as it was in the original form but it not something that can extend to a full half-hour show. The quick cuts and camera movements also make for a horribly directed show that fails to take into account the premise of the show. The pans, the cuts to the audiences and Professor Green doing bits to the camera during the performance means that we hardly actually see the celebrity lip-syncing. Instead, they’re just on stage, sometimes dancing, to a song that is being played.

It is a very marmite show and not one that I returned to after the first episode. I have been prone to watch little clips but that’s as far as I will go as its not worth watching for half an hour imo. The show did impress in the ratings though due to its scheduling between episodes of Celebrity Big Brother and it managed to get around ~2m. The ratings did gradually decrease though and ended with a low of 1.05m for its final episode.
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LustForLife
post Jan 7 2017, 10:02 PM
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Sherlock was very disappointing! Thankfully this year's return was better, although not too hard. As you say, the time period switches were quite annoying. I was looking forward to an episode purely set in Victorian London.

Lip Sync Battle UK definitely peaked with its first episode, with Walliams and Dixon being the biggest names in my opinion anyway. But it's nice to see Channel 5 try Lip Sync Battle in the UK!
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JosephStyles🐶
post Jan 8 2017, 10:40 PM
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Lip Sync Battle is a weird one really, it has its entertaining moments but I totally agree that the direction is pretty terrible drama.gif Mel B keeps me watching *.*
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DalekTurret32
post Jan 8 2017, 10:57 PM
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Need to see Sherlock sometime! Looks good
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Klaus
post Jan 11 2017, 01:03 PM
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HAPPY VALLEY

Broadcast: 9th February - 15th March
Channel: BBC One
Ratings: 9.75m - 9.10m




Happy Valley was a huge hit back in 2014 and that first series was one of my favourites of the last few years. The storyline was incredibly gripping and engaging and I've never been on the edge of my seat more than during the final moments of the fourth episode. The second series that was broadcast in 2016 therefore had a difficult challenge to live up to the incredible quality of the first series and, whilst it didn't match the same strengths, it was still an epic series in its own right. This time around, we encountered a number of different storylines rather than the one that was the focus of the first series. The interplay of these different storylines worked well and they allowed Catherine to remain the centre of all of them. My particular highlight was the storyline surrounding the Detective Sergeant who had to investigate the murder that he actually committed. This lead to a tense finale when his secret was revealed leading to a chase from Catherine.

Overall, it overcame the difficult second series problem a lot better than some of its counterparts (namely Broadchurch) and this success was down to being able to naturally follow and explore the fallout from the previous series' events whilst introducing new engaging and interesting storylines that were able to run alongside that. It explored further how nasty and manipulative Tommy Lee Royce can be through using his charmful ways to attract lovers and use them to target Catherine. Sarah Lancashire was once again fantastic in the role of Catherine and it will probably be one of her career defining roles as she is able to carry the series so well. I'm excited to see where the next series will lead us and to see the effects on Catherine's grandson.
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LustForLife
post Jan 11 2017, 01:05 PM
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Happy Valley was fantastic - did not disappoint after that two year wait! It's still yet to be topped as my favourite British drama. So good! Hopefully it won't be longer than a two year wait again from series 3.
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