1. Six Feet Under, Season 1. Finished Six Feet Under S1. I have absolutely no complaints about this show so far and I'm simply looking forward to experiencing the next four seasons. I'm struggling to think of another show where I love each one of the main characters and enjoy spending time with all of them pretty much equally. I think I'd call Brenda my current favourite if I had to choose, but Claire, David, Nate, Ruth and Rico are all characters I'd want to list as favourite characters too. And Lily Taylor's character hasn't even shown up yet (I really love Lily Taylor from her film roles and can't wait to find out what role she plays in SFU). My favourite moments so far have included David coming out to Ruth, Brenda visiting Billy in the mental institution, Rico's anguish over the dead baby and of course, Claire taking revenge with the foot in the locker. I love the roles played by all the dead characters too and how the show never shies away from death as its central theme, yet never feels morbid or depressing either. The news of Nate's brain condition has me worried for the future but for the present I liked how Nate took the news as a sign that he needs to cherish life in the here and now and encourage others to do the same.
2. Shameless, The Sins of My Caretaker. Probably my favourite S3 episode so far. I loved Carl's adventures at cancer camp last week, but this week's episode had so many great moments. I loved Lip's 'Fuck you' phone call to Karen followed by Lip finding Liam still digging in the garden. Also, the scene with Fiona talking to Debbie through the bathroom door made me tear up. Emmy Rossum has always been excellent in this show but Emma Kenney is becoming a wonderful young actress in her own right. Then there was the lovely spontaneous Ian/Mickey kiss and Ian telling Lip off for treating his BFF Mandy so badly. I loved Frank's no-nonsense explanation of homosexuality to Carl. I'm still entertained by Sheila/Jody's experimental bedroom adventures. Oh and Molly cracks me up every time he/she gets a line. And I'm also really liking the Fiona/Jimmy drama for the first time ever. Inequality has always been the root problem with this relationship but for two seasons it was the issue of Fiona being poor and burdened while Jimmy is rich and unattached. I like that they are now dealing with the 'other' inequality in the Fiona/Jimmy ship; that being how Jimmy endlessly supports Fiona and her family through their troubled lives but Jimmy doesn't get the same support for his problems because Fiona doesn't have time to take care of anyone else. And yeah, I did lose some sympathy for Jimmy when he eventually sought comfort in Estefania's bed, but then Jimmy's been forced into that fake marriage at gunpoint and I suspect that's the real thing stressing Jimmy out. It's just easier to fixate on his parent's divorce and his dad being gay. A lot of fans have been asking why the hell Jimmy didn't just tell Fiona that Este's dad came back, murdered her lover in front of him and then made Jimmy help to dispose of the body. I think this episode did a good job of showing why Jimmy didn't feel like he could confide in Fiona. Oh also, what happened to Jimmy's minder character? He was hilarious. I hope he'll show up again soon. I'm glad they finally picked up the thread of Frank calling child services. I was really starting to think that rather important piece of continuity had been forgotten.
3. Black Mirror, White Bear. So is anyone outside of Britain watching the latest episodes of Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror? Because OH MY GOD. Last night I was scared to go to sleep after watching the latest installment. Not breathing a word about this episode because you have to watch unspoiled and experience the twist of doom for yourselves. Like one critic put it "White Bear is possibly one of the most grim and psychologically disturbing viewing experiences to have been witnessed on British television this year". Yup, pretty much. Last week's 'Be Right Back' was equally frightening and traumatizing in a very different way. If you've not heard of Black Mirror before it's a TV series consisting of standalone narratives (so different characters and settings each week) on the theme of dark dystopian futures. Finally a show that justifies my hatred of Smartphone culture. It's really excellent conceptual scifi storytelling. Here's the trailer, which is a conceptual piece in itself not containing preview clips from any of the S2 episodes.
4. Nick Cave, Push the Sky Away. New album! New album! But even better than the new album, my best friend in the world got us tickets to see Cave live in Manchester. OMG!! OMG!! This is perhaps second only to someone getting tickets to see Tom Waits for me. I'm so grateful and I really can't wait even though the gig isn't till October *sigh*. I will be plugging my ears with Cave songs until that time and just imagining how epic it is going to be. I mean, OMG!