What did you watch last week? Including The Almighty Johnsons, Elementary, Sleepy Hollow, The Bridge (US) and Strike Back

It’s “What did you watch last week?, my chance to tell you what movies and TV I watched last week that I haven’t already reviewed and your chance to recommend things to everyone else (and me) in case I’ve missed them.

The usual “TMINE recommends” page features links to reviews of all the shows I’ve ever recommended, and there’s also the Reviews A-Z, for when you want to check more or less anything I’ve reviewed ever. Since I was a bit more on the ball last week than the week before, I’ve reviewed elsewhere the following new shows:

Still in the viewing queue, though: Isabel on Sky Arts and Mysteries of Lisbon, which is on on-demand at the moment but starts tomorrow, also on Sky Arts; as well as ABC’s Betrayal, which began last night, and HBO Asia’s first original TV series Serangoon Road.

I should point out that the final episode of The IT Crowd was great, a fitting conclusion to the series, and that we probably own a copy of Textile Merchant – Norfolk Expansion pack somewhere.

Shows I’m watching but not necessarily recommendingThe Bridge (US)
For what was basically the first original episode of the show, with absolutely nothing to draw on from the Danish-Swedish version, a surprisingly good bit of work that ties up all the loose ends involving secondary characters who largely got overlooked by that show. Fascinated to see how they end it, since the original’s conclusion was the most disappointing aspect of it and this could pip the US version ahead. Also of note is that Sonya Cross has essentially become a more plausible aspie, going from teenage aspie to adult aspie in her behaviour in the space of 12 episodes, which is equally fascinating to behold.

The Bridge TV Schedule

Sleepy Hollow (Fox/Universal Channel)
After a very promising first episode, Sleepy Hollow rapidly degenerated into a dull, mythology-bound, sillier X-Files with a hint of Buffy thrown in. A couple of digs at the British, of course, but a few jokes about modern-day technology didn’t lift the show much up beyond the average Grimm episode.

Sleepy Hollow TV Schedule

Strike Back (Cinemax/Sky 1)
Strike Back team go into Russian prison. Cue implausible fights, bad acting and more. Nevertheless, surprising in some aspects, including tolerance towards a transvestite prisoner.

Recommended shows
Elementary
(CBS/Sky Living)
The return of the other modern-day Sherlock Holmes series, this one set in New York. Except this episode went all the way to London. I was braced for some eye-rolling but actually, it was a very good TV England, with few Americanisms in the piece beyond the occasional weird bit of dialogue that hasn’t been said in England for 50 years (“Up to snuff”). Everything looked nice, and we had Rhys Ifans as a very different Mycroft Holmes from the ones we’ve seen before, and Sean Pertwee nicely hammy as a similarly different Inspector Lestrade. There were some great references, some subtle (Langdale Pike, The Norwood Builder), some not so subtle (221b), to the original stories. It was also one of the few Elementary episodes that actually felt like a modern day Holmes story, with a problem that seemed unsolvable and which was eventually solved with staggering insight but Holmes. A great start to the season and I’m looking forward to the rest of it now.

Elementary TV Schedule

The Almighty Johnsons
Wow. Superb ending to the season and perhaps even the series. If that’s it, it’ll be a great way to go out, even if not quite every story arc was resolved. Probably the best season of the show overall. Watch it if you haven’t been watching it already.

The Almighty Johnsons TV Schedule

“What did you watch last week?” is your chance to recommend to friends and fellow blog readers the TV and films that they might be missing or should avoid – and for me to do mini-reviews of everything I’ve watched. Since we live in the fabulous world of Internet catch-up services like the iPlayer and Hulu, why not tell your fellow readers what you’ve seen so they can see the good stuff they might have missed?

  • Mark Carroll

    Well, we finished series two of “The Almighty Johnsons”; the show has generally been quite good. I am glad that series three sounds to be well worthwhile.

    We're still watching some “Dark Angel”, which continues to be reasonable despite the silly attitude.

    Oh, we started series three of “Spiral”. I am liking it more so far than I did series two.

    I expect that we'll be watching the last “Breaking Bad” tonight, spoilers will become too hard to miss otherwise.

    Things like “InkMaster” and “The Great British Bake-Off” amble along adequately. Oh, and we saw Dara O'Briain's “Craic Dealer” which was actually quite good.

  • GYAD

    ATLANTIS – Tepid children's “adventure”. Too much CGI, too post-modern, with a confusing mish-mash of cultures & mythologies. The 1950s adventure serials were better.

    MARVEL: AGENTS OF SHIELD – Vile neck snapping next to cartoon spy stuff, seasoned with insufferably smug, snarky dialogue.

    YOUNG MONTALBANO – Getting better and better. More beautiful scenery, weather, women and food.

    GRACELAND – Surprisingly fun, if not too serious, for such a silly concept. Weird transitions though.

    MYSTERIES OF LISBON – Slow paced and old fashioned but masterfully directed and often beautiful.

    WAGNER – Quite, quite mad. But magnificent too.

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