Corporate Casual Friday
International TV

What have you been watching? Including Corporate, Counterpart and Baron Noir

It’s “What have you been watching?”, your chance to recommend anything you’ve been watching this week

The Winter Olympics continues to have its chilling effect on TV programming, with an almost glacial release of new shows and plenty of old shows frozen in their tracks. Elsewhere, I’ve reviewed Stargate Origins (Stargate Command) and Here and Now (US: HBO). But that’s been the lot, more or less, in the past week. That does mean, though, that I’ve been able to christen a new movie feature on TMINE this week, Movie Monday, to take in film reviews, which means WHYBW can now focus on tele.

Black Lightning‘s on holiday this week, so that just leaves us with the remaining usual regulars: Corporate, Counterpart, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, High Maintenance and The Magicians, as well as the season finale of Baron Noir. Two of them are getting a promotion – can you guess which ones?

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New Doctor Who logo
News

Doctor Who’s new logo; Bill Gates’ Big Bang; Perfume, Bad Banks acquired; the new Magnum PI; + more

Internet TV

UK TV

US TV

US TV show casting

  • Bill Gates to guest on CBS’s The Big Bang Theory
  • Sarah Gadon and Emily Nelson to recur on HBO’s True Detective

New US TV shows

New US TV show casting

Here and Now
US TV

Review: Here and Now 1×1-1×2 (US: HBO; UK: Sky Atlantic)

In the US: Sundays, HBO
In the UK: Tuesdays, 9pm, Sky Atlantic. Starts tonight

Is patience a virtue? It’s supposed to be, isn’t it? When it comes to TV, patience certainly can be a necessity, at least, as both the now-retired Carusometer and its successor, the Barrometer, can attest. Indeed, these days, plenty of shows start badly and it’s not before you get to anywhere between episodes three and seven that they get their acts together and reveal their true merits.

Patience is now particularly expected of us when it comes to ‘prestige TV’, which is often almost defined as being slower moving than regular TV. Remember The Leftovers? Great by the second or third season, apparently, but the first season was depressingly dreadful.

Maybe you are virtuous enough to be so patient as to stick with any given show until it gets good. But in the age of Peak TV, you need something more than patience – you need time. There’s so much good television, particularly serial shows, and prestige shows, you have to have oodles of hours spare in your day to actually watch them.

Here and Now

So how patient should we be with HBO’s latest prestige project, Here and Now? Already, you can sense its worthiness, with a name that’s as portentous as This is Us‘s – it might as well have called itself Very Important Drama About Modern Life. It’s also from Alan Ball, who wrote American Beauty and created Six Feet Under and True Blood. Very prestigious indeed.

Then there’s the cast and the plot. It stars Tim Robbins and Holly Hunter (wow!) as two former 60s radicals now all grown-up and living in Portland, Oregon – a place with so many liberal niceties and ticks, it can be satirised on multiple levels for multiple seasons with Portlandia. But it gets even more liberal than that: Robbins is a philosophy professor, Hunter a former therapist who nows heads something called ‘the Empathy Initiative’ focusing on conflict resolution by teaching empathy.

Even if that weren’t enough, they’ve adopted kids of different races from all around the world, all of whom are now adults. There’s Jerrika Hinton (Liberia), who’s the creator and owner of a retail fashion website; Raymond Lee (Vietnam), who’s now a successful life coach; and
Daniel Zovatto (Colombia), a student studying video game design.

At this point, even if you’re quite literally a card-carrying liberal like me, your patience will probably be extremely tested. You might not even have the patience to start watching the show. I wouldn’t blame you.

Even if you can muster that patience, the first episode is extremely… prestige. You get to watch Robbins screwing around with young prostitutes because he can’t cope with being 60, having a loving family and seeing Donald Trump as president. Hinton’s a dick to her staff for having the temerity to put a hat on a male model who’s being photographed. Hunter gets to patronise her Spanish-speaking staff with extended r-rolls and constantly rail against Western values and medicine. Lee’s offering motivational advice about not crying, while not actually having any relationships, while Zovatto’s having sex with blokes he meets in bars. Hunter and Robbins’ birth daughter (Sosie Bacon) is having arguments with teenage alt-righters in school about the patriarchy. Everyone’s wondering what pills they should be taking to cope with their undiagnosed ADHD or whatever.

And for about 45 minutes, it’s the most tedious, naval-gazing, First World Problems nonsense you could ever hope not to have to watch, interspersed with trips to the dry cleaners. You’ll want to throw a brick through the TV then drive down to Hooters with your shotgun in the back of your pick-up truck.

What, you might think, is the point of all of this? When exactly is the shoe going to drop and the series reveal why a lot of money and talented people have been spending their time on it?

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Black Panther
Film reviews

Movie Monday: Black Panther, Kingsman: The Golden Circle and The Hitman’s Bodyguard

Every Monday Some Mondays Once in a while on Monday, TMINE will review the select few movies it’s had time to watch when it’s not been watching TV

Not quite the monthly feature I suggested, but probably alternating with Boxset Monday whenever there’s not a boxset worth watching, the alliterative Movie Monday is a new TMINE feature reviewing the latest movies that I’ve watched. Usually that’ll be whatever Apple’s just bunged up on iTunes, but occasionally, just occasionally, it might even be one that’s in the cinemas.

This week, to christen everything, three movies: Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017), The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017) and Black Panther (2018).

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