What have you been watching? Including Master of None, You're The Worst, Arrow, Doctor Who and Limitless

Posted on November 21, 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.

I'm starting to lag a bit, as you may have noticed by the fact I'm writing this on a Saturday. It hasn't helped that Netflix put out all of Marvel's Jessica Jones yesterday, at the same time that Amazon Instant Video decided to do the same with The Man In The High Castle, both of which I'll hopefully be reviewing in full next week. I was also still having to deal with the second half of the first season of Master of None.

So although I managed to review Into The Badlands (US: AMC; UK: Amazon Instant Video) this week, I've yet to get round to either Chicago Med - a hospital spin-off from Chicago PD which itself was a spin-off from Chicago Fire - and Crackle's auction house drama The Art of More. Hopefully, I'll get round to them on Monday, but on the strengths of the reviews of The Art of More and the strengths of both Chicago Fire and Chicago PD, I can't imagine they'll be shows worth sticking with.

All the same, and despite the fact a few shows are coming to an end anyway as December looms on the horizon, I think it's time to make some room in my schedule by deleting a few programmes from my list, since The Bridge/Bron/Broen is returning to the UK tonight, guaranteeing I have two more hours of viewing every week to get through. And I haven't even tried The Last Panthers on Sky Atlantic yet.

So I don't think I can be bothered to watch the second episode of Donny!, and I think The Last Kingdom and The Beautiful Lie can be dropped without the world ending - Heaven knows I've been patient enough with them, as they've taken a long time to not do a huge amount so far.

I passed a third-episode verdict on the marginally improving Agent X this week, but I don't think it really merits a second chance in this time-constrained time, despite the presence of Sharon Stone. I'm also going to give further episodes of Blood and Water a miss, since although it's quite a brief show and it's started to find its feet this week by turning into a sort of 'Chinese-Canadian Detective meets In Treatment', with whole episodes just multi-lingual, three-handed interrogation scenes at the police station, the actual crime being investigated just isn't that interesting. 

I'll let you know what happens with Ash Vs Evil Dead once I've watched the latest ep. Supergirl would be off the viewing list by now if it weren't for the fact I'm watching it my wife so we can mock its atrocious dialogue and plotting. Grandfathered is just too variable but hits highs enough and is charming enough that I might stick with it for a while. Blindspot's on Mondays - that's probably the only reason I'm watching it now.

But I'll be reviewing the lastest episodes of them and Arrow, Doctor Who, The Flash, Limitless, Master of None, The Player, and You're The Worst after the jump, so we can talk more about them there.

Shows I’m watching but not recommending

Blindspot (US: NBC; UK: Sky Living)
1x9 - Authentic Envoy
And lo, Sullivan Stapleton was finally allowed to channel his inner Damien Scott, and all was good. The show also finally gave us a villain of note (Ennis Esmer from Man Seeking Woman, The Listener, The LA Complex and Red Oaks). Unfortunately, everything else about the show is still struggling to be compelling, with everybody else relatively personality-less and dull. Even the 'shock ending' was a bit snooze-worthy and predictable. But hey? What else is there to watch on a Monday?
Where can I watch it?
Reviews: First episodethird episode

Grandfathered (US: Fox)
1x7 - Sexy Guardian Angel
As always, every very good episode of Grandfathered is immediately followed by an okayish one. All the same, for all the horrors that might have taken place with Stamos' ageing lothario teaching his son how to go on the pull, the show managed to maintain its intelligence, not go to any of the icky places it could have gone and also avoided some pat, heartwearming endings. Strong plotting, basically, but without the dialogue and laughs to match.
Where can I watch it?
Reviews: First episodethird episode

Master of None (Netflix)
After the first six episodes, Master of None starts to become more of a romance, with some comedy, as Ansari film appearance becomes less importance and his relationship with Noël Wells becomes more important. It's all intelligently handled, growing naturally from what's already been established, and the final episode is a surprising way to end things that suggests that Ansari might have seen one of my favourite movies. A more profound, intelligent show than might have been expected, one with more than its fair share of drama, romance and comedy. Definitely worth a try and I'm looking forward to season two (if there is one).
Review: First six episodes

The Player (US: NBC)
1x9 - Tell
The not officially cancelled, but basically cancelled show ends its truncated first season with a series of unanswered plot threads that make it clear The Player really wants to keep all its options open. But it did give us a pretty good version of the Wesley Snipes v Philip Winchester slugfest we were dreaming of, gave Charity Wakefield something to do other than sit back at HQ all the time and enabled Winchester to have fun for a moment or two. Still, something of a damp squib for the show to go out on, beyond a semi-decent motorcycle chase. I doubt many people will miss The Player, but it was nice to have a network TV show that could do proper stuntwork again. It just needed to have some fun, some budget and a decent timeslot - I imagine if Blindspot and The Player had been swapped in the schedules, both might have survived.
Where can I watch it?
Reviews: First episodethird episode

Supergirl (US: CBS; UK: Sky1)
1x5 - Livewire
One of the two shows this week that had to either air a completely different episode from the one intended or just not air at all (Legends) thanks to similarities between the scheduled episode and the Paris atrocities. Here, Supergirl swaps fourth and fifth eps, meaning things with Jimmy and Lucy Lane have altered strangely from episode three (and will revert back next episode) and Supergirl is having an early Thanksgiving with her foster mum (movie Supergirl Helen Slater, who clearly hasn't been acting much since the 80s). Lots of flashbacks to Dean Cain, too. But those weren't enough to redeem a dismally stupid episode in which Brit Morgan (Graceland, The Middleman, True Blood) plays a shock-jock DJ who gets electrical superpowers. The show's clearly trying hard now, but saddled with its inept format, poor writing and dismal stunts and special effects, it can't quite recreate The Flash's fun but cheesy set-up. 
Where can I watch it?
Reviews: First episode; third episode

The recommended list

Arrow (US: The CW; UK: Sky1)
4x7 - Brotherhood
A directorial debut for the show's long-time stunt co-ordinator James Bamford gives the show almost an entirely new style, as we get wheeled through steadicam shots, long tracking-shots and even fights that start on one floor of a building, enter a lift and then leave on another floor, the camera following them along the way. Scripting's fine, with yet more Legends of Tomorrow establishment work for Brandon Routh, who displaces Mr Terrific for an ep, and the continuing lightness and humour of Ollie is making the show a lot more fun to watch. Generally, good all round. BTW, can anyone say 'clones'?
When’s it airing near me?
Reviews: First episodethird episode 

Doctor Who (UK: BBC; US: BBC America)
9x9 - Sleep No More
Mark Gatiss gives us his choice of genre pastiche for this season - found-footage horror and The Ring - and depending on how you read the final two minutes, it's either a bravura attempt to give us an episode in which nothing we've seen can be believed and which is a mind-blowing or a great big, nonsensical 'f*ck you' to the audience. While there are elements of it that are fun, well put together and imaginative, with decently spooky direction, characters didn't really inspire interest enough to care if they died or not and nothing really hangs together or can be explained. Unless we're expected to believe, as the final two minutes suggest, that that's the point. Probably the best ever Gatiss episode but still something that signifies very little in the scheme of things.
Where can I watch it?

The Flash (US: The CW; UK: Sky 1)
2x7 - Gorilla Warfare
Back to Legends of Tomorrow work. Again. Has there ever been a spin-off show that's needed this much pre-establishment maintenance work from not one but two other shows? I doubt it. But aside from the Hawkgirl thread, we get the return of Grodd, which a fantastic pay-off at the end for the comic book geeks (I really didn't think they were going to go there, but they did), as well as the continuing attempts to make the new Harrison Wells a redeemed figure who could hang around for future seasons. The easy conclusion to the previous episode's big cliffhanger was a bit weak, though, although they did manage to find the best possible way to do it.
When’s it airing near me?
Reviews: First episodethird episode  

Limitless (US: CBS)
1x9 - Headquarters!
Once again, epic kudos to Limitless for its continuing innovations in the field of CBS procedural storytelling, with some really wacky and imaginative call-outs. And since it was Craig Sweeny, the creator of both Limitless and Elementary, who gave it to us, it's nice to see that he can be innovative, even if it's not on Elementary any more. 
Where can I watch it?
Reviews: First episodethird episode

You’re The Worst (US: FXX)
2x11 - A Rapidly Mutating Virus
Once again, some fabulous acting by Aya Cash, as Gretchen's depression continues, but also some fabulous writing as the show takes the Jimmy/Nina plot to its natural conclusion without making Jimmy look too horrible in the process. One of the most dramas as well as the best comedies on TV at the moment.
When’s it airing near me?
Review: First episode

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