... Two TV productions that couldn't be more different, but they pretty much constitute my personal highlights from the month of January in television and bode almost forebodingly well for the next 11 months. I've seen the first half hour of "Summerhill":http://bbc.co.uk/go/bbcfour/int/prog/event/t/-/bbcfour/listings/programme.shtml?day=monday&filename=20080128/20080128_1930_4544_18739_100&service_id=4544 twice now - the 2-hour feature was split into 4 half-hour episodes for broadcast on children's television, a choice completely - even beautifully in these times - in keeping with the overall message in the production about children's rights, about children being fully capable of the same decisions grown-ups are allowed to make, etc. Like I wrote on "tumblr":http://surlaroute.tumblr.com, I don't even know if real children _watch_ children's television anymore, but it's nice that its there for them if they want to.
I couldn't wait to see the remaining 90 minutes tonight and I was not let down at all. I've half the mind to finally switch to including British TV movies in my definition of "movies" therefore really this post should possibly be in the movie section as I imagine it will turn out to be a more fulfilling 120 minutes than at least 50% of the dross I'll subject to myself before December is out. It was a beautiful idea to start with, almost a shame it's taken 8 years to make something of it, the music is gorgeous, the cast firing on all cylinders from the cute Holly Bodimeade to the supporting cast of the inspectors, Geraldine McNulty as the headteacher, and yay Martin Ball (sorry, such a whore for mentioning people I've seen live on stage :P). It's pretty much the benchmark for television this year ... like I said, _forebodingly_ early.
"Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles":http://www.fox.com/terminator/ came as a total surprise to me. Though I loved *Terminator 3*, I've still not got around to seeing it a second time since the first time, and in that time I've allowed my opinion to somewhat slide to the point where I approached this series with as much trepidation as excitement. It turns out that comparison to the second sequel to James Cameron's original doesn't bear pursuing; all three of the first episodes of this show quite comfortably compare to the best of the movies, "Judgment Day":http://ambival.net/movies/terminator-2-judgment-day - and given that _both_ Linda Hamilton and Edward Furlong have for obvious reasons been recast, that's really quite a thing to find myself saying. Each episode seems to follow that great direction in Cameron's screenplay to T2, "OKAY, BUCKLE YOUR SEATBELTS, HERE IT COMES..." and seriously, for a TV show, the brilliance of the pace cannot be understated, it's truly overwhelming. Lena Headey, Thomas Dekker and Summer Glau are a perfect threesome, so good that I didn't question the recasting from the classic movies for a second (okay, I didn't do for "Rise of the Machines" either, but kudos is still due). I can only hope it keeps up the pace. The worst I've heard on the IMDb message boards is that it'll be cancelled after 2 seasons - like omg! lol. Two seasons sounds like a hit to me :-P