Sunday, April 19, 2015

Cristela: Is this the end of the line for the ABC sitcom

We have no word yet on whether sitcom Cristela will get a second season or not but things are not looking overly positive as far as series star and creator Cristela Alonso is concerned. The actress/comedienne posted on her blog on Saturday saying she was worried about the future of the show.

Hi!  It’s April 17, 2015 and I find myself sitting in the middle seat of a full Southwest flight on my way to Nashville.  Tonight at 8:30/7:30 PM, ABC will show the season (and possibly series) finale of a sitcom that I put my heart and soul into. 
I want to be realistic and honest about things.  I’m not sure if the show is coming back. It worries me and not because I want to be on TV more. It worries me because I think this show gives a voice to people that haven’t been given a voice before.
Cristela isn’t a flashy show. It’s not a slick single-cam that looks like it’s a movie shot on a weekly basis, it doesn’t have voiceovers telling you thoughts the characters are currently having and it certainly doesn’t use crass and edgy things to tell its stories.  That was my choice to not do any of those things.  I wanted to take a harder path, a path that really isn’t taken on TV anymore.  I wanted to make a TV show like the kind I grew up with, the kind that looked like a play, the kind that made the live studio audience we tape in front of, just as important as the cast because they are as important.
One of the big problems the show has faced is that ABC have basically just left it to it's own devices and these days in such a crowded atmosphere it is harder than ever to be found. Our opinion is that it probably deserves a second season. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Crown Court Volume Three DVD Review

Network DVD / Region 2 / 4 disc set / Released April 2008

Featuring Denis Lill, Windsor Davies, Nigel Havers, Peter Bowles

One of the ITV Network's first daytime drama series (along with Harriet's Back in Town and Emmerdale Farm) Crown Court, with its highly atmospheric (and evocative) theme tune, was an instant hit with the elderly, the unemployed, the sick and kids who managed to wangle a day off school.

Network are releasing this brilliantly nostalgic series (yes I did wangle more than my fair share of days off school) and this April saw the arrival of volume three with with 13 stories spread over four discs. Each case runs for three episodes and although the action never strays from the courtroom (only recaps for each episode make use of black and white photographs) you are very quickly pulled in to the goings on.

The show was a real breeding ground for soon to be well known actors and these episodes feature the likes of Warren Clarke and Tony Doyle in Love Thy Neighbour: Regina V Thornton and Thornton; Nigel Havers (with an outrageous pair of Elton John style specs), Derek Griffiths, Helen Cherry and Terrence Hardiman in Wise Child to name just a few but one of the things that really made it stand out at the time was the use of members of the public for the jury who actually got to make the decision as to whether the defendent was guilty or not according to the evidence they had heard over the course of three episodes, of course this meant that different endings had to be filmed depending on which way the jury went.

Definitely a classic series then, one defies its relatively low budget setting to still entertain some 30 odd years later.