TV and DVD…what’s gracing the small screen… With Nick Jarvis

Game of Thrones is over for another year! Cue gnashing of teeth, tearing of hair and more wailing about how cruel George R. R. Martin is to kill off more central characters (even if they were the dullest).

 

Where will you get your weekly serving of medieval swordplay, intrigue and sexposition now? White Noise recommends Vikings, a drama series that just wrapped up its first season on the History Channel.

 

The storyline might not be as intricate as George R. R. Martin’s, but Vikings is equally bloodthirsty, with complex characters and the benefit of historical accuracy – as well as at least 75% more beard-plaits than GoT. If over-sexed Nordic dudes and babes with amazing hair sounds like your cup of mead, try it out.

 

One of SBS 2’s more interesting selections this year is cock-eyed English comic Russell Howard’s Good News, which is broad enough to be relatable to an Australian audience (unlike the BBC’s venerable news satire panel show Have I Got News For You, which has been running for 23 years in the UK but is largely incomprehensible to anyone outside the UK press bubble).

 

The show that White Noise wishes they’d pick up, though, is Never Mind the Buzzcocks, another esteemed (though hardly respectable) BBC panel show, from which the ABC’s music quiz Spicks and Specks stole its format.

 

Buzzcocks is infinitely more sadistic, though; hosted for years by misanthropic comedian Mark Lamarr and, later, the brilliantly acid-tongued Simon Amstell, Buzzcocks’ modus operandi is to lure daft pop stars on as guests and then make merciless fun of them, while team captain Phill Jupitus lends patronising fatherly support and fellow team captain Noel Fielding injects good-natured whimsy. Seek out episodes on YouTube by searching ‘NMTB’.

 

And now, some recent DVD releases worth looking out for…

 

Amour

Out now through Transmission Home Entertainment

Michael Haneke’s revered, Palme D’Or winning masterpiece of love and ageing comes to DVD.

 

Tiny Furniture

Out August 7 on Transmission Home Entertainment

If you like Girls, find Tiny Furniture – Lena Dunham’s debut feature that scored her the HBO series. It’s more of the same – the first world problems of middle class 20-somethings…in other words, your life on film.

 

True Blood Season 5

Out now through Warner

Meet the blood-covered Vampire Goddess Lilith and a brothel of randy fairies in the ridiculous(ly fun) sixth season of Alan Ball’s camp masterpiece.

 

Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake

Out now through Madman

What if Finn was a girl and Jake was a cat? No freakin’ way! 16 new episodes from the greatest show for ten-year-olds (and stoned adults) of all time.

 

National Geographic: Wild Babies

Out now through Madman

Literally everyone in the office just lost their shit over this. Tiny lions, tigers, bears and elephants – oh my!

 

House of Cards: Complete First Season

Out June 27 through Universal/Sony

A US remake of a British miniseries that really hits the mark, thanks in no small part to star turns by Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, and the directorial hand of David Fincher, House of Cards is a dark, taut political thriller.

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