Richard in Berlin Station spam

So, last weekend I finished watching the rest of Berlin Station season 2. Again, I have only watched this series for Richard Armitage, other than that it has not been able to hold my interest. I am not a spy story fan in general and even though I have occasionally enjoyed a spy movie or TV series, they are never favourites of mine. At the time, I also only watched Strike Back for Richard. I did enjoy that series, John Porter remains one of my fave Richard roles, but I was never tempted to watch the rest of Strike Back after Rich left. Berlin Station I have not been able to enjoy as much. It isn’t awful but somewhere in the “it’s an OK series” range. On a scale from 1 (awful) to 10 (great) I would give it a 6.

Let me first go into the negative: what I mostly disliked about this show was the storytelling. There are too many points of view and there is no one to really root for, even if some storylines do touch on personal situations. Most of the time you don’t quite understand why a character feels the way they do or where they’re coming from. The story itself also felt a bit flat and not very insightful at all. I also read criticism about how the German electoral system was portrayed inaccurately but I admit to fast forwarding through some of that stuff, so it never bothered me so much. The fact that I felt the need to fast forward here and there says enough about how the story did not really grip me. But it wasn’t all bad and I did find Berlin Station series 2 far less confusing than series 1…

To me, Daniel Miller (Richard Armitage, the focus of my attention) had a little more of a personality in this second season than in season 1, even though again the show wasn’t so much about him (a bit surprising as he is billed as the lead actor for this). In season 1, when he seemed conflicted, you often wondered whether the conflict was real or just part of the spy act. His relationship with Esther Krug (Mina Tander) felt like that – did he really like her or was he only having sex with her to get information from her? The second season made Daniel seem less dubious to me and more caring. It felt like he really cared for Esther and for his mission. He also really cared for Hector and for what would happen to the character of Lena Ganz. The caring also went a little overboard, though, with the shock over what happened with Otto Ganz (won’t spoil that here). I like that he was emotional (and Richard played it so well!) but the depth of emotion for such a man seemed a little far-fetched to me – Daniel seemed to care too much about what happened to a right-wing extremist he had tried to get into jail and who he didn’t seem to like so much for most of the story so far. But at least Daniel did have a bit more of a real heart in this season, and I liked that.

Another good thing about Berlin Station is that they have secured great actors for it! They gave life very adeptly to a flat story. Apart from The Armitage, I also really liked Richard Jenkins, Rhys Ifans was good, as were Leland Orser and Michelle Forbes. I also liked the addition of rookie Keke Palmer. However, Ashley Judd didn’t really impress me here – I much prefered Richard Jenkins as station chief. They should promote Michelle Forbes to that post next season.

BS station cast.PNGThe calibre of German acting was excellent too.  Mina Tander is good as Esther, although she had less to do this time around; Thomas Kretschmann as Otto Ganz and Emilia Schüle as Lena Ganz were really great…

… and I also really liked Heino Ferch’s performance as Joseph Emmerich.

Those German actors certainly have charisma! Most of all, though, I liked Richard and this is where my picture spam starts (click on the images to enlarge). I will continue on from where I left off with posting pictures, starting with episode 4 of season 2 (episode 3 only had 30 seconds of Richard in a flashback to what we already saw of him in episode 2). Beware, from here on in pictures may contain minor spoilers!

So, episode 4 starts with Daniel (Richard) meeting secretly with Esther (Mina Tander)…

They get very close, but it’s all business talk…

After that, Daniel is back in the field…

Episode 5 starts with Daniel and Hector (Rhys Ifans) trying to make sense of a sculpture. I love their smiles here, which look like they are close to cracking up hysterically…

Berlin Station S02E05 (3)

We have more Daniel in the field…

… with some very close close-ups…

And Richard in plaid, walking away…

Epsiode 6 starts with Richard in the shower and studying himself in the mirror. Oops, I should stop saying Richard and say Daniel…

There’s a knock on the door and there’s something very vulnerable and evocative about Daniel here…

Berlin Station S02E06 (4)

He puts on a shirt after Esther enters…

… and the vulnerability continues (I love the body language here!)…

Daniel and Esther get quite close again…

… and after that it’s back to business…

Daniel visits Esther at her apartment, he’s upset and does a lot of talking with his hands (I love how Richard talks with his hands!)…

… and one thing leads to another…

Episode 7 starts with Daniel waking up in Esther’s bed alone…

… but fear not, Esther is still around. There are some lovely images of Daniel in Esther’s kitchen. I wouldn’t mind seeing Richard in this Esther’s kitchen like that!

There is some very trite romanticism (“I’ll be myself and you’ll be yourself” or some such crappy dialogue), but it does give us some lovely romantic images…

… and a little more cuddling (with a lovely little smile in the last image)…

… and it’s back to spy-business…

There’s a business meeting with Esther that doesn’t go as Daniel hoped it would…

… and that night, Daniel awaits Esther in her apartment, not too pleased with the business side of things…

Episode 8 begins with an early morning disturbance in bed for the couple…

… followed by more spy-business…

In spy-stealth-mode Daniel visits a house at night, looks straight into a nanny-cam and carries the little girl out of the house (awww!)…

… followed by more spy-talk…

Episode 9, the final episode, has Daniel in a car (yet again, lots of car scenes in Berlin Station!)…

… and meeting with Esther (that last half-crinkled forehead look is so sweet) …

… and spying indoors…

… and outdoors…

There’s some final Hector stuff going on…

… and a funeral which, in the light of Richard Armitage just losing his mum, I found somewhat poignant (even though at the time of filming no such loss was happening)…

And so we come to the end. After the funeral, Daniel meets with Esther at the riverside…

… and they walk off into the sunset together…

And so we now await season 3 of Berlin Station. Admittedly, season 2 is not as bad as I had feared it to be and of course, it is great to see Richard in action and he does really well! However, for me, I’m not the greatest Berlin Station fan and a season 3 is not necessary. I’m just not so fond of the storytelling and wouldn’t mind so much if Richard quit this show. It looks like Daniel won’t play a huge role in season 3 (again, this is supposed to be about Daniel Miller yet it is remarkably little about him), as Richard seems to have finished filming a while back while the rest of the crew is still at it. No idea when season 3 will air, I think I read somewhere possibly in the fall? I am sure we will get some answers in time… Meanwhile, thanks for another good acting job, Richard!

Advertisements

Only for you, Richard Armitage…

I’m finally braving it and watching Berlin Station season two. Season one hadn’t done so much for me, even though the last few episodes redeemed the show somewhat, so I have been putting off watching season two.  I am desperate for some new Richard material, so I finally bit the bullet, so to speak, and season two it had to be for me. I just finished watching the first two episodes.

Again, I find myself not enjoying the show so much, even though I do very much enjoy Richard-watching. He’s always good, just wish the material was better and his character had more depth. I’ve been freeze-framing to get a better look at him and have been taking some screenshots. Visually it all started nicely with these images (click to enlarge) of Daniel Miller (Richard Armitage) on a train…

And Daniel at Berlin Hauptbahnhof…

Berlin Station S02E01 (6)

There was a little interaction with Esther Krug (Mina Tander)…

Some more Richard… er… Daniel in action…

I very much liked these images of Valerie Edwards (Michelle Forbes)…

There’s Daniel in a car…

And the show finally came to life a bit for me when at the end of episode one the action was transferred to Spain and Hector DeJean (Rhys Ifans) came onto the scene…

Episode two sees Daniel in a market…

Daniel in a wine cellar…

Daniel drinking wine…

Daniel smirking and listening…

Daniel intense in profile…

Berlin Station S02E02 (28)

Some more Daniel and Hector action…

And I really liked this following image of Daniel, he’s been showing a little more real emotion under the undercover surface than I remember from season one…

Berlin Station S02E02 (42)

There’s Daniel waking up (look at those veins in his upper arm)…

Daniel walking…

Berlin Station S02E02 (46)

… and talking with Hector at the end of episode two.

Berlin Station S02E02 (48)

So, yeah, it’s been really wonderful seeing Richard in action but after two episodes I need a little breather before I continue on with the rest. Only for you, Richard, only for you…

Richard has been busy!

I gather that at the end of Berlin Station season 2, Daniel (Richard Armitage) and Esther (Mina Tander) basically walk off into the sunset together…

Daniel & Esther BS s2 end (1)Daniel & Esther BS s2 end (2)

I have had no inclination to watch season 2 of Berlin Station yet, but Richard walking hand-in-hand with an Esther is a lovely image now in my head. 🙂

This finale coincided with a storm of Richard selfies on his instagram account on Sunday, which were a joy to see…

2017-1203 RA selfie 32017-1203 RA selfie 12017-1203 RA selfie 2

It felt a bit like Richard was saying goodbye to Berlin Station. Forever, I wonder? The latest news is that Berlin Station has been renewed for a 3rd season but this hasn’t been a fave show for me, so Richard in a 3rd season of Berlin Station is not essential in my book. I never really loved the first series but maybe I’ll think differently after I actually watch season 2? Not sure when I’ll brave watching it…

Also on Sunday, Michelle Forbes posted a lovely selfie of Richard and her on her Twitter:

2017-1203 RA MF selfie

Then on Monday yet another selfie on Richard’s Twitter account, hinting at a new narration project…

2017-1204 RA selfie

… which on Tuesday turned out to be the character of Wolverine that Richard is voicing in a Marvel podcast series! This made me chuckle, as the man has been mistaken for Hugh Jackman before and now the connection is even closer.  Yep, I can picture it…

… even though we’ll probably never see Richard actually looking like Wolverine. I have always liked Wolverine, I’ve seen all the movies except for the last one, Logan, which I hear is the best Wolverine yet and I still want to watch it. I think it’s really cool he’ll be voicing Wolverine but, as it’s again an audio-only performance, I doubt whether I’ll ever have the patience of sitting through a whole podcast series of this. I can sit through part of it, though, if it becomes widely available. We’ll see…

Then yesterday, on Wednesday, came the news that Richard is doing another audiobook called The Tattooist of Auschwitz.

This has me very curious even though it is, yet again, audio work only. I don’t do audiobooks and I am even less likely to listen to an audiobook with such a subject matter. I can internalize what I read in a book better when I actually read it as opposed to listening to it and with such a subject matter I’m not sure I can bear hearing it in another voice than the one I have in my head. Yet, this subject matter is one close to my heart and I’m very curious to know what Richard will be doing with the material. So, this is one I may actually try out…

The man has been busy, so much Richard news in just a few days! The last news-high before a Christmas-lull? For now, I am enjoying seeing Richard in Christmassy red. I just love this image, the warm colours and the warm little smile on his face.

2017-1206 RA reading Tattooist Auschwitz (3)

I look forward to more new Richard Armitage projects in 2018, with him filming Julie Delpy’s My Zoe movie next, I think!

A song for every occasion

I have said it for years (and the BBC show Homes Under the Hammer also proves it, see this blurb about that show): every situation can remind you of a song!

I was watching current affairs on TV and came across a programme on a Belgian channel that had a far-right young Dutch politician I really dislike on their panel. I took a peek (shouldn’t have) and they were discussing something he had said a while back. They played a clip of him saying that women are often left-leaning until they meet a right-wing man who tells her how it really is and she always comes around to his way of thinking in the end… Yes, basically saying women can’t think for themselves! There was a woman on the panel who rightfully accused him of using arguments by men who were opposed to suffragettes a hundred years ago… The pit of my stomach exploded in anger at this politician yet again! I quickly changed the channel, really don’t have to listen to that garbage, and looked up a David Bowie song on YouTube that I thought of as soon as the word “suffragette” was uttered…

This came after I was reading about the latest travel ban news coming from the US, about people being banned from crossing borders after all. It made me think of this Chris de Burgh song, where he sings, “Don’t let go, I want to know, that you will wait for me until the day, there’s no borderline, no borderline…”

Before that I was reading about Richard Armitage and Michelle Forbes going to the ballet together…

Ballet tweet

… and a song from A Chorus Line came to mind…

Yes, it was quite an associative half hour!

Colin, Richard and a nun’s blessing

In the midst of a diplomatic row between Turkey and The Netherlands (elections here in two days, this is apparently the best time for rows) I like to focus attention on more positive things. So, here are a few pictures I’d like to share from the past weeks…

Captivating Colin Firth graciously and with big smiles received roses (it looks like he’s hugging them too!) and a kiss from a fan, all nicely caught on camera a few weeks ago:

He was also seen in a turtleneck sweater (I love turlenecks!), filming scenes for the Love Actually revival for comic relief, which will be shown on the BBC at the end of next week, I believe!

I am already looking forward to that!

In addition there are also Richard Armitage pics to share. First off a quick sighting this past weekend at JFK, with Richard striding by in a flash (thanks for the find, Servetus!)

Richard JFK march 2017 crop

Whereas there are regular Colin sightings at airports, there are only a few Richard ones, so I really lap these up! There were also some riveting Richard pictures, shared last week, of him with Michelle Forbes and Tamlyn Tomita and dogs…

RA march 2017RA2 march 2017

Apparently shared on Michelle’s instagram account, I first came across it via Moose Turd’s twitter. Especially that first picture with the three of them laughing with the dog has me riveted… A very nice and handsome man laughing with women and a dog – it hardly gets better than that!

And there’s more feelgood stuff! Last night was the season 6 finale of the BBC’s Call the Midwife. One of the main characters, Shelagh Turner (played by Laura Main) gave birth to a baby. After the baby was delivered by Sister Julienne (Jenny Agutter), she smiled and said the following blessing (I have put the words on my screencaps):

Call the Midwife Aaron's Blessing

I am not religious but this blessing (called Aaron’s blessing, from Numbers 6:24-26 in the bible) is very special to me. It’s a little longer than the part Sr Julienne says…

The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

… and it was my dad’s favourite blessing to say to his loved ones. He said it at my wedding, at my oldest brother’s grave and every Christmas to all his grandkids.

In all the turbulence of the news out there right now, it is comforting to know there is still (memories of) happiness and warmth to go around. 🙂