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?


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.

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