A week in film – week 41

I did say last week that I really was ‘hoping’ to watch a tonne of autumnal boxed sets and smart films and the like. That hope is still an abstract concept, not realised by the things I have watched this week. I made vague attempts in its direction, sure: it’s October and I’m heading to Washington D.C. (!) at the end of the month, so watching a couple of episodes of The West Wing was almost obligatory. God, it’s good. It hits the ground running and doesn’t really stop until, er, about midway through series 5 (I still love it, but there is a noticeable change after Aaron Sorkin leaves). I’ve also seen The Martian again, this time in 2D, which I maintain is one of the smartest films of the year and also one of my absolute favourites. I potentially enjoyed it even more the second time, because there wasn’t the additional level of tension expended on wondering whether it’d live up to my expectations. It might even get to a third cinema viewing.

Otherwise, though, it’s pretty much been a normal week. Trying to put my newfound contempt for Seth Cohen aside, I watched a few episodes of The O.C., filling in the gap I created by jumping halfway through season 2. I’ve done that pretty successfully, but I’m avoiding finishing the series because I checked Wikipedia episode summaries and realised that it’s basically a right downer, and I’m not in the mood for that. This might explain why I’ve moved back towards comedies. I’ve been alternating between The Mindy Project and Brooklyn Nine-Nine for much of the second half of the week. The Mindy Project holds up a little less than Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which is still laugh-out-loud funny no matter how many times I watch it. Seriously, it’s become one of my favourite shows. Still, even if I’m not noticing myself chuckling audibly at The Mindy Project, I’m finding it enjoyable, and I don’t regret buying it on DVD a couple of weeks ago. Then again, the Brooklyn Nine-Nine DVDs might get a little bit more use.

Frankly, this week has been all about one show in particular. It was the final of The Great British Bake Off on Wednesday, and apparently something like 14.3 million people were watching it. This is a huge number for a TV event in this country, and a stat that makes me ludicrously happy – much like Bake Off itself, which is the warmest show in the history of television. How often do you watch a final of anything where two contestants, theoretically competing against one another, actually try and help one another out? Everyone (OK, Nadiya and Tamal) seemed to be supporting each other through the nerves and the upsets, and it was adorable. In fact, the whole thing was just lovely – even the tense bit when you’re waiting to find out who’s going to win. It’s been all over the internet and the papers so if you don’t know who won I’m genuinely impressed, but you’re not going to avoid finding out on this blog. I’m so happy for Nadiya. Her speech was incredible and motivational and, honestly, tear-inducing, and I just wanted to eat all of that lemon drizzle wedding cake in one sitting. Bake Off is perfect. I’m already waiting in anticipation for the next series.


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