Salvation
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Le clan Bonaparte; Salvation, Alone Together and Pure renewed; + more

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  • Trailer for season 2 of Netflix’s Lady Dynamite

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Superstition - Season 1
US TV

Preview: Superstition 1×1 (US: Syfy; UK: Netflix)

In the US: Fridays, 10/9c, Syfy. Starts October 20
In the UK: Acquired by Netflix

October is scary enough with Halloween, but with a Friday the 13th in it too this year, it’s unsurprising that Syfy is cranking out not one but two spooky shows to capitalise on the moment. We’ve already had the unendurable Ghost Wars, about which the less said the better. Now we’ve got Superstition, which has been created, written and directed by no lesser a man than Mario Van Peebles – he stars in it, too, since he had a few spare hours left in the day, it seems.

No, he doesn’t sing the theme tune.

Super Mario

If you’re of a certain age, you’ll remember that Van Peebles’ New Jack City had as much impact at the time of its release as John Singleton’s Boyz N The Hood, albeit for very different reasons. 

But Peebles wasn’t just a director, he was an actor, too, and he went on to star in all manner of action movies afterwards.

Yeah, they weren’t much good.

Still, if that were a crime, Jean Claude Van Damme would be in the nick for life right now (Universal Soldier and Time Cop excepted). Except he’s not and he’s got a TV series now, so why shouldn’t Mario, hey?

Continue reading “Preview: Superstition 1×1 (US: Syfy; UK: Netflix)”

The Gifted
US TV

Third-episode verdict: The Gifted (US: Fox; UK: Fox UK)

In the US: Mondays, 9/8c, Fox
In the UK: Sundays, 9pm, Fox UK

It’s best to think of The Gifted, Matt Nix’s X-Men-free X-Men drama, as the edited, slower, lower budget highlights of a whole bunch of X-Men movies you’ve already seen. Allegedly a look at the X-Men universe from the point of view of lesser mutants once the X-Men and Brotherhood of Mutants have buggered off, it sees mum and dad Stephen Moyer and Amy Acker on the run from the authorities (Coby Bell) when they learn that their two teenage children are mutants. To stand a fighting chance, the family has to tie up with the ‘mutant underground’, which is full of young mutants with their own soapy issues.

Nix could maybe have spun this is an exciting new direction, just as Noah Hawley did with Legion, were it not for a couple of odd choices. The first is to split up Acker and Moyer at the end of the first episode, leaving Moyer to spend all his time with Bell. They do not for an exciting pairing make and rob the show of one of its few points of difference. It also leaves Acker spending her time looking worried about her family while a bunch of whiny other mutants worry about their boyfriends or girlfriends.

The second problem is that he’s populated the show with mutants whom you’ve seen before (eg Blink) or have powers you’ve seen before (eg Polaris, daughter of Magneto). The result is that pretty much everything is a retread of the movies, just with everyone running away rather than squaring off for a fight.

It’s not all a loss. Everything looks great, although by episode three, we’re down to pick-up truck chases on empty Canadian country lanes. There’s usually something novel in each episode. It’s also good to see Acker and Moyer starring in something again and the supporting cast of pretty young mutants are reasonably credible.

But it’s just so mundane. It retreads so much old territory while adding so little. And in a schedule full of superheroes, with more to come (eg Black Lightning), that could well be a fatal mistake.

Barrometer rating: 3

The Barrometer for The Gifted

La Mante
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Netflix acquires La Mante; TVNZ goes Danish; Sky Italia’s Django; + more

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  • Trailer for Channel 4’s The End of the F***ing World

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Mr Robot - Season 3
US TV

What have you been watching? Including Mr Robot, Travelers and Halt and Catch Fire

It’s “What have you been watching?”, my chance to tell you each week what movies and TV I’ve been watching recently and your chance to recommend anything you’ve been watching. TMINE recommends has all the reviews of all the TV shows TMINE has ever recommended, but for a complete list of TMINE’s reviews of (good, bad and insipid) TV shows and movies, there’s the definitive TV Reviews A-Z and Film Reviews A-Z

The wave of new US shows is dying down at last, so WHYBW has returned to its usual day of Tuesday. In the past week, I’ve reviewed the whole of season 1 of Mindhunter (Netflix), as well as the first episodes of Valor (US: The CW) and Ghost Wars (US: Syfy; UK: Netflix), and passed third-episode verdicts on SEAL Team (US: CBS) and Wisdom of the Crowd (US: CBS).

There have been a couple of other new shows, though. The reboot of Dynasty (US: The CW; UK: Netflix) has just started, but you can work out for yourselves if you like that, since I’m not touching it. However, I will be reviewing Superstition (US: Syfy) tomorrow, you lucky people, as well as passing a third-episode verdict on The Gifted (US: Fox; UK: Fox UK).

Now I did promise you all a review of Alias Grace (Canada: CBC; UK: Netflix). However, I got about 15 minutes into the episode, before the various attempts at Irish and American accents proved so grating that I couldn’t get any further. Sorry about that. Hopefully you can get over it to enjoy this somewhat cheap looking adaptation.

After the jump, the usual regulars: The Brave, Great News, Marvel’s Inhumans, Me, Myself and I, Professor T, Star Trek: Discovery and Will & Grace. We’ll also be talking about the return of both Mr Robot and Travelers, as well as the final ever episodes of Halt and Catch Fire. I couldn’t be bothered watching any more Valor though.

See you in a mo.

Continue reading “What have you been watching? Including Mr Robot, Travelers and Halt and Catch Fire”