What have you been watching? Including The Smoke, The Americans, Elementary, Arrow and True Detective

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.

So a few days away, just as all the new shows started and a whole bunch returned following the Winter Olympics, has meant a lot of things – namely I’m behind on quite a few show but have managed to watch an awful lot of House of Cards.

So after the jump, reviews of what I have seen – The Smoke, Almost Human, Fleming, Helix, The Americans, Arrow, Banshee, The Blacklist, Elementary, Line of Duty and True Detective.

Continue reading “What have you been watching? Including The Smoke, The Americans, Elementary, Arrow and True Detective”

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US TV

Review: About a Boy 1×1 (NBC)

About A Boy

In the US: Tuesdays, 9/8c, NBC

David Walton has something of a reputation. Two reputations in fact.

  1. He’s NBC’s unofficial comedy mascot, having now appeared as a regular cast member in mid-season replacement shows 100 Questions, Perfect Couples and Bent
  2. He’s a show-killer, 100 Questions, Perfect Couples and Bent all having been cancelled after a season or even before that.

To be fair, although 100 Questions had its moments, these were largely quite bad shows, in which Walton did little apart from be a feckless, aimless, but amiable womaniser who learns the error of his ways when he meets that special lady.

So now we can perform some actual science. Given Walton’s experience in this area, it’s understandable that NBC called him yet again when they had a very similar role for him in yet another mid-season comedy replacement. But unlike those previous shows, this new one should in theory be very good. It’s About A Boy, based on Nick Hornby’s book and movie of the same name. It’s got Minnie Driver as the love interest. It’s got Jon Favreau directing its pilot episode and even got Leslie Bibb (Iron Man, Popular, GCB) to guest. It’s got Jason Katims (Friday Night Lights, Parenthood) show-running it.

If it fails, it must therefore be because

  1. No one will watch a comedy on NBC any more
  2. David Walton is a show-killer

Which do you think it is?

Here’s a trailer. And just for comparison, I’ve added the trailer for the Hugh Grant movie below. See if that helps.

Continue reading “Review: About a Boy 1×1 (NBC)”

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US TV

Preview: Vikings 2×1-2×4 (History/Amazon Instant Video)

Vikings season 2

In the US: Thursdays, 10/9c, History
In the UK: Amazon Instant Video. New episode every Friday, starting today

Vikings was a big surprise for me. Had I watched it last year, it would easily have been in my top three new shows of the year. But given it aired on the History Channel – the channel’s first scripted drama – came from Michael “The Tudors” Hirst and looked suspiciously like it was a cash in on Game of Thrones, I missed it and only watched it last month when I bit the bullet and got LoveFilm access (LoveFilm, of course, is now part of Amazon Prime).

How glad I was. A semi-autobiographical drama about the life of the semi-historical, semi-legendary viking Ragnarr Loðbrók, it was a fantastic blend of the personal, historical, political, educational, mythological and extreme violent, showing how Loðbrók (as a proxy for all vikings) went from being a simple farmer to a Scandinavian Earl through his adventures in the hitherto unexplored west – 8th century England. Full of lovely little touches, including spoken Old Norse and Anglo Saxon, strong roles for women, the appearances (maybe) of Norse gods as well as all the things you’d expect from Saxo Grammaticus and others’ stories of Loðbrók, it quickly became a must-see for me.

Now it’s back for a much deserved second season with plot threads aplenty to pick-up. What will become of Ragnarr and Rollo? How’s Æthelstan the monk doing? What will become of Hlaðgerðr and Ragnarr’s marriage given his infidelity? Will the English be prepared for any further invasions from Ragnarr and his men? And will King Ælla manage to get Ragnarr into that snake pit?

Spoilers – not too serious, I hope – after the jump.

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Weekly Wonder Woman

Weekly Wonder Woman: Wonder Woman #28 + Injustice: Gods Among Us, Year Two #4 and Forever Evil: Argus #5

Wonder Woman #28

So it’s the beginning of the end for a lot of things over in Wonder Woman. We’re heading towards the end of the current story arc for one thing, but we’re also heading towards the end of Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang’s three-year run on the title, with wife and husband team Meredith and Brian Finch ready to take over on writing and art duties respectively.

After the jump, we’ll talk about all the other things that (possibly) ended in Wonder Woman #28, as well as Wonder Woman’s appearance in Injustice: Gods Among Us and various mentions in Forever Evil: Argus #5, in which Steve Trevor tries to prove he’s more than just her ex-boyfriend… by trying to beat up her arch enemy Cheetah and getting her lasso back.

Continue reading “Weekly Wonder Woman: Wonder Woman #28 + Injustice: Gods Among Us, Year Two #4 and Forever Evil: Argus #5”

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