What did you watch this week? Including Defiance, The Americans, Continuum, Elementary and Hannibal

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

First, the usual recommendations:

  • The Americans (FX/ITV)
  • Arrow (The CW/Sky 1)
  • Being Human (US) (SyFy)
  • Continuum (Showcase/SyFy)
  • The Daily Show (Comedy Central)
  • Doctor Who (BBC1/BBC America)
  • Elementary (CBS/Sky Living)
  • Endeavour (ITV1)
  • Go On (NBC)
  • Hannibal (NBC/Sky Living)
  • Modern Family (ABC/Sky 1)
  • Vegas (CBS/Sky Atlantic)

These are all going to be on in either the UK or the US, perhaps even both, but I can’t be sure which.

Still in the viewing queue: Netflix’s Hemlock Grove, which still doesn’t look appealing; BBC2’s The Politician’s Husband; and Sundance’s ‘difficult’ Rectify.

Now, some thoughts on some of the regulars and some of the shows I’m still trying

  • The Americans (FX/ITV): The first good episode not written by Joe Weisberg, although the parallels between ‘the oaths’ were crude. But the end twist shows how quickly things can turn round in this spying game.
  • Arrow (The CW/Sky 1): Feels like it’s going round in circles, covering old storylines it’s already covered. The stunts are still good though.
  • Bates Motel (A&E/Universal): I’m not actually watching this, merely reading updates on episode guides. Turns out that there are some interesting twists to it, but those twists are more interesting to read about than to watch.
  • Continuum (Showcase/SyFy): A pleasing series of double-bluffs. Just as you think you can see where the episode us going, it goes in a completely different direction. Not quite the slam dunk of the first episode – you’d have thought with it being the most popular drama in Canada, Shaw might sink some cash into the show – but full of good moments.
  • Defiance (SyFy): Precisely as conventional as you’d have expected the second episode to be, focusing more on the cultures of the aliens than on giving the aliens interesting personalities. Also horrifically patriarchal as before, with even the ‘strong’ women and female aliens deferring to the men or needing the support of men for their decisions.
  • Elementary (CBS/Sky Living): Notable mainly for the arrival of master blackmailer Charles Augustus Milverton from the Holmes stories, rather than any aspects of the plot itself.
  • Endeavour (ITV1): Much better than the previous episode, although I had for a moment hoped it was going to be a prequel to my favourite Inspector Morse episode, Masonic Mysteries. However, it was pretty obvious what was going on and the denouement was glacially slow and silly.
  • Hannibal (NBC/Sky Living): Despite episode four having been dropped and then cut down into US-only webisodes, episode five carries on pretty well from previous episodes, but feels like a cross between Millennium and Touching Evil. Actually quite moving in the scenes between Jack Crawford and his wife, it’s an excellent show that’s definitively worth watching.
  • Plebs (ITV2): A good way to end the series. Here’s hoping for more!
  • Vegas (CBS/Sky Atlantic): Quite liking the additional of Mia’s mother to the story and Carrie-Anne Moss is finally getting some good things to do. But the rest of the plot feels like it’s treading water, and Dennis Quaid has stopped putting the effort in. On the other hand, it did treat the domestic abuse storyline with tact and sensitivity, despite the era in which the show is set.

“What did you watch this 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

    We are watching Rise of the Guardians right now. It's about what you'd expect, but has some nice aspects that make it quite agreeably tolerable.

    I'm a bit behind on listening to In Our Time but I am liking them.

    We watching Butterfly on a Wheel last night. It was quite good, certainly better than average. Once was enough, but not too many.

    Have I Got News For You was better again. Oh, we watched a Person of Interest season finale which was okay. CSI is ambling along okay.

    We'll have some catching up to do in due course.

  • Mark Carroll

    We are watching Rise of the Guardians right now. It's about what you'd expect, but has some nice aspects that make it quite agreeably tolerable.

    I'm a bit behind on listening to In Our Time but I am liking them.

    We watching Butterfly on a Wheel last night. It was quite good, certainly better than average. Once was enough, but not too many.

    Have I Got News For You was better again. Oh, we watched a Person of Interest season finale which was okay. CSI is ambling along okay.

    We'll have some catching up to do in due course.

  • GYAD

    LONGMIRE – A well-paced, sensitive mystery that delved into yet another unusual part of America.

    ELEMENTARY – Funnily enough, the main criminal never even appeared on screen. More about Johnny Lee Miller having fun than detection or crime.

    THORNE: SLEEPYHEAD – Another dull 'dark copper hunts sadistic serial killer only to become hunted himself'. Grisly, unpleasant and predictable.

    THE DRESDEN FILES – A nice episode about spoilt brats, albeit that it suffered from awful 'party' scenes and some obvious political correctness.

    CORLEONE – Clunky Italian mafia serial on Sky Arts that hits predictable beats. Notable only for the locations.

    LABYRINTH – C4 medieval clunker. Dan Brown meets chick lit with pouting leads, terrible history and mild anti-Catholic bigotry.

  • Rullsenberg

    Don't bother with the Politician's Husband. It's cliche central. Watching DT's weird blond hair is interesting and it is a good cast but blimey the writing and plotting poor…

    I'm really enjoying Endeavour though. A worthy successor to Morse and Lewis.

  • bob

    Totally agreed re Arrow. I was so bored in the episode until the fight scene between Oliver and Charles Gunn (or whoever he was). Brilliantly done. But worth sitting through the rest of the tedious dross? Perhaps not.

  • Okay then, I won't!