What have you been watching? Including Wayward Pines, Community, Forever and American Odyssey

Posted on May 8, 2015 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

It's "What have you been watching?", my chance to tell you what movies and TV I’ve been watching recently 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. And if you want to know when any of these shows are on in your area, there’s Locate TV - they’ll even email you a weekly schedule.

Summer’s approaching fast now - although judging by the weather, not in the UK - but it’s not here yet, which means the only new show I’ve had the option of reviewing has been Your Family Or Mine. I might have to start watching some UK TV again. Oh dear.

It also means that after the jump, I’ll be looking at another season finale, as well as the last few remaining episodes of a whole bunch of shows. So brace yourself for my thoughts on the latest instalments of American Crime, American Odyssey, Arrow, The Blacklist, Community, The Flash, Forever, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD and Silicon Valley. One of those is for the chop from my viewing list, one of those has had the chop from its network’s viewing list, one of them’s still on the bubble and the rest look set to return for another season at least. I’ll leave you to work out which is which.

But I’ll also have a look over another episode of Wayward Pines. I know you’re looking forward to that, too.

Shows that I've been watching but not really recommending  

American Odyssey (US: NBC; UK: BBC Two, to air this month)
1x5 - Beat Feet
And I give up. Well, I gave up ten minutes into this as we continue to have Anna Friel running around between captors, rather than doing anything. The only thing that kept me going for most of those 10 minutes was Grégory Fitoussi, but even he wasn’t enough. All in all, an overstretched conspiracy theory show with a bunch of hapless, dull investigators without much agency, enlivened purely by a multinational gloss to the whole thing that makes it look better than it actually is.
When’s it airing near me?
Review: First episode; third episode

The Blacklist (US: NBC; UK: Sky Living)
2x21 - Karakurt
Abject tedium and ludicrousness for the first half followed by some surprisingly smart plotting in the second half. Worth sticking around for the season finale, I reckon, but I’m still not planning on sticking around for season three, unless they pull some epic rabbits out of hats soon.
When's it airing near me?
Reviews: First episode; third episode

Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD (US: ABC; UK: Channel 4)
2x20 - Scars
A return to the SHIELD of old, more Avengers tie-ins plus a slight thematic set-up for Captain America: Civil War still can’t stop this from being deathly dull. The producers need to realise that in-fighting every episode + double-crosses every five minutes ≠ good drama.
When’s it airing near me?
Review: First episode, Third episode

Wayward Pines (US: Fox; UK: Fox International, to air 14 May)1x2 - Do Not Discuss Your Life Before
The second episode had far more of a The Prisoner feel, with The Village Town’s newest inhabitant trying to escape, getting more info from residents and trying his best not to be unmutual. There’s a big surprise at the end of the episode, but it’s still quite silly and it’s all too much silliness overall for me to want to stick with it for a third episode.
When’s it airing near me?
Review: First episode

The recommended list

American Crime (US: ABC)
1x10
More misery and lives falling apart, but the clear message of the episode is that you might find light at the end of the tunnel, provided you can get as far away as possible from the American legal justice system.
When’s it airing near me?
Review: First episode; third episode

Arrow (US: The CW; UK: Sky1)
3x22 - This Is Your Sword
Although there have been terrible episodes of Arrow in the past, this probably qualifies as the worst ever episode - yes, even worse than Geoff Johns’ efforts - with astonishing ineptitude in every department, from terrible direction and fight choreography to eye-wateringly bad dialogue, epic padding, ridiculous plot twists and a mind-numbing lack of either internal consistency or just plain old logic.
When’s it airing near me?
Reviews: First episode; third episode

Community (US: Yahoo; UK: Sony Entertainment Television)
6x9 - Grifting 101
An episode that felt a lot more like classic Community, with Matt Berry following fellow IT Crowder Richard Ayoade over to the US to play a professor of grifting, whom Jeff and the others must out-grift, in a tribute to The Sting. It didn’t quite have the hallmarks of the best Community episodes, but at least it didn’t feel like the show was going through the motions, as it has done of late, and Berry was entertaining at least.
When’s it airing near me?
Reviews: First episode; third episode  

The Flash (US: The CW; UK: Sky 1)
1x21 - Grodd Lives
Yes, Grodd, the giant, telepathic gorilla is here at last. Despite that, not the best of episodes with Iris being a dick a lot of the time, and all kinds of stupid filtering through (spoiler: how exactly can Grodd withstand a supersonic punch? And how exactly can Barry administer his supersonic punch underground in some twisty windy sewers?).
When’s it airing near me?
Reviews: First episode; third episode  

Forever (US: ABC; UK: Sky1)
1x22 - The Last Death of Henry Morgan
A surprisingly good ending to the season that also serves well as a series finale, with Ioan having the inevitable face-off with Burn Gorman. Turns out my theory as to who Burn was was slightly wrong but actually the revelation of his identity was probably more interesting. Surprisingly nasty and imaginative in its final conclusion to the story, it’s now been promoted to recommended for the series as a whole, even if it probably should have been a far less padded 13 episodes instead of 22.
When’s it airing near me?
Reviews: First episode; Third episode

Silicon Valley (US: HBO; UK: Sky Atlantic)
2x4 - The Lady
And the show adds a female programmer to its cast in just about the best way possible, while still managing to satirise its own lack of women as well as Silicon Valley’s problem in this department. Not quite as funny as previous episodes, however, although the Huli plot thread is spot on.
When’s it airing near me?
Reviews: First episode; third episode

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