Category Archives: TV Series

Fast Five Review: Jane the Virgin Season 1

Jane Season 1

2014 | Drama, Comedy

Jane Villanueva Cordero is a student teacher, an aspiring writer and a devout Catholic – but when she becomes pregnant after being accidentally artificially inseminated during a routine checkup, Jane’s whole life becomes as complicated and unpredictable as the telenovelas she watches with her mother and grandmother every day.

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Fast Five Review: Jessica Jones Season 1 (2015)


2015 | M | Action, Crime, Drama

This Netflix original chronicles the life of one of the darker Marvel characters, the mysterious Jessica Jones. When a tragedy puts an the end to her short-lived career as a superhero, Jessica settles in New York City and opens her own detective agency, called Alias Investigations, which seems to be called into cases involving people who have special abilities. Suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome, Jessica wants to do good, but her primary interest isn’t in saving the world, it’s saving her apartment and getting through each day. Based on a graphic novel intended for adults, this is not a superhero story for the kids. Continue reading

Fast Five Review: Dig (2015)



Reviewed by Jennifer

1. Did you like it?

Yes. Especially later in the season, the cliffhanger at the end of each episode made me want to watch the next one as soon as possible.

2. Why/Why not?

I always love finding movies and TV shows with an international  perspective, and that’s what got me interested in Dig, especially since much of it takes place in Jerusalem, and my family has an Israeli connection. I also often enjoy shows with a supernatural or paranormal element, so that ticks another box.

Moving between Israel and the US, Dig tells the story of a grand conspiracy, drawing inspiration from Holy Land archaeology, the Dead Sea Scrolls and Jewish mysticism. The story is told through the experiences of a diverse group of characters: FBI agents deployed in Jerusalem, an Israeli cop, a naïve young Orthodox Jewish man, an American woman involved in a secretive Christian sect. I suspect Dig could be considered fairly offensive to a strictly orthodox Jew or a practitioner of Kabballah. But since I’m neither, I found it an intriguing spin on the old TV trope of the detective who uncovers a big secret that goes way over his head.

3. “You would enjoy this series if…”

You like intrigue and mystery, with an esoteric/conspiracy bent. I think fans of The X-Files, NCIS and some of the other more quirky criminal investigation shows would like Dig.

4. “This series made me think…”

That clearly I retained more from my primary school Hebrew classes than I thought – I was able to pick up a pretty good range of words in the Jerusalem scenes.

5. Stars out of five?



Fast Five Review: Catching Milat (2015)


Review by Naomi

1. Did you like it?

Yes and no.

2. Why/Why not?

Catching Milat is a mini-series following the police task force who investigated and ultimately apprehended Australian serial killer, Ivan Milat, for the murders of seven backpackers found murdered in Belanglo State Forest. No spoilers there, it’s one of the most famous series of murders in Australian history and I well remember the huge television news coverage during the investigation in the early-mid 90s. Malcolm Kennard played a truly menacing Milat, depicted as a man of few words but menacingly so. The story unfolds at different timelines, revealing incidents out of chronological order, but in order of their discovery by police. This thriller does have a heaping helping of suspense, I honestly wondered if he was going to get away with it, even though I know the true story.

In the second half of the mini-series, the focus is on Detective Paul Gordon in the task force who continuously disregards orders from his superiors on how to carry out the investigation, jeopardising the case a few times – this was a tiring story arch. He was arrogant and had no apparent reason to take the case so personally. Perhaps the reason this didn’t ring true is because it wasn’t, it is factually incorrect.  This detective was not as involved in the real life investigation as the mini-series portrays but poetic licence is always a possibility in true crime adaptations.  For the most part it was well shot, but the overused slow motion used during the arrest scene and other scenes right at the end lacked substance – there wasn’t enough going on to justify such a long sequence. Yes it was the resolve of the investigation, but it was hardly climactic.

3. “You would enjoy this movie if…”

…you like true crime.

4. “This series made me think…”

No hitch hiking for me!

5. Stars out of five?


Fast Five Review: Derek Season 1 (2013)


Reviewed by Paul

1. Did you like it?


2. Why/Why not?

Derek is a mellow comedy/drama with a good balance of laughs and tear jerking moments. It serves as a commentary of what is important in life and shines a spotlight on the roles which are carried out by the hidden heroes who society seldom acknowledges.

3. “You would enjoy this movie if…”

This series is quite different to other Ricky Gervais written shows. However it will appeal to his fans and others who like heart warming stories with laughs thrown in.

4. “This series made me think…”

Of the role of kindness in society and the unfortunate way in which some of the most necessary positions in society are under valued.

5. Stars out of five?


Fast Five Review: Penny Dreadful Season 1 (2014)


Reviewed by Nick

1. Did you like it?


2. Why/Why not?

Victorian London complete with vampires, monsters, and deals with the devil. With new twists on familiar characters it makes the setting accessible for those new to the genre as well as those who are old hands. There are innumerable incarnations of vampires, demons, and mad scientists set within a reasonably faithful depiction of 19th century London.

3. This TV series made me think …

Of Pride and prejudice and zombies.

4. You would like this series if …

You are a fan of traditional horror stories and unconventional period pieces. Penny Dreadful were originally cheap stories produced for the increasingly literate British working classes of the time. You can find many example through Project Guttenberg.

5. Stars out of five?