What have you been watching? Including Chicago Med, Ant-Man and The Bridge

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 – they’ll even email you a weekly schedule.

All these new shows coming out at the same time is not very helpful. Even with Thanksgiving in the US knocking a whole bunch of shows out of action, I haven’t got further than the first episode of The Man In The High Castle, and the Black Friday dumping of WE TV’s South of Hell means I haven’t watched any of it. I also haven’t had a chance to watch last night’s Doctor Who and The Bridge. Oh well. 

I might discuss this phenomenon more on Monday.

But this week, I did watch the first episode of The Art of More (US: Crackle) and review the entire first season of Jessica Jones (Netflix), which ain’t bad. And after the jump, I’ll be reviewing the latest episodes of Ash vs Evil Dead, Blindspot, Grandfathered, Into The Badlands, Legends, Limitless and Supergirl, as well as last weekend’s episodes of Doctor Who and The Bridge.

I also watched the first episode of another new show.

Chicago Med (US: NBC)
A spin-off from Chicago PD which itself was a spin-off from Chicago Fire, this hospital procedural from the Dick Wolf school of entirely predictable institution-revering has already had a backdoor pilot in Chicago Fire and now it’s heading off all by itself. I barely need to describe the set-up – it’s an emergency department, in which very poor character actors turn up each week pretending to be ill, so that various medical professionals can work their hardest to defeat the system, cure whatever illnesses they have and show how damn awesome they are, without having to fill out a single form or charge a dime.

Surprisingly, every illness also presents an Important Moral Issue – here’s a surrogate mother who signed a contract giving medical attorneyship to the parents of the baby… except now she needs an operation to save her life that might kill the baby! What choice will the parents make and how will it affect the Pregnant Doctor?

As well as the cameos from Chicago Fire cast members, including David Eigenberg who’s now done all three shows, we have a regular bunch of competitive doctors, all trying to out-awesome each other. Central to all this is newbie Colin Donnell (Tommy Merlin from Arrow), who’s just so awesome, although his ‘fluent Spanish’ seems to consist mainly of speaking Spanish for two sentences with someone who only speaks Spanish before switching back into English to force them to carry on falteringly in English, too. There’s also Oliver Platt and S Epatha Merkerson, Laurie Holden having jumped ship twixt pilot and series. There’s also a bunch of young ‘uns whose job is to be rubbish so they can be told what to do by Team Awesome and some honourary members of Team Awesome, who we’re supposed to think are awesome, but who largely patronise and interrupt their patients, rather than listen to them.

Probably the best thing about it, about from a thoroughly entertaining cameo by Rahm Emmanuel to open the new ED, is that it’s thoroughly ludicrous, with Donnell rescuing everyone in a crash on The Loop and then sewing stitches into his own arm, to show how awesome he is, despite being surrounded by an entire team of trained nurses and doctors, all of whom have two working hands and aren’t in a lot of pain. It’s also reasonably likeable, unlike ‘Dick Central’, aka Code Black. Otherwise, utterly generic, which seems to be NBC new policy – to be fair, it also seems to be working for them.

I also watched a movie:

Ant-Man (2015) (iTunes)
The latest Marvel movie continues efforts to raid the B-team of characters, here with Paul Rudd playing the titular Ant-Man. He’s a social justice warrior sent to prison for burgling big companies, and comes out unable to get a job. Fortunately, former 1980s Ant-Man Michael Douglas’s slightly mental pupil is trying to create an army based on Douglas’ shrinking technology, so Douglas enlists Rudd to steal the technology back and make sure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. This is despite having a daughter (Evangeline Lilly from Lost and The Hobbit movies) who’s so much more qualified for the job than Rudd, she has to spend the entire movie teaching him what to do.

The film is somewhat unusual in being one long heist movie, albeit involving a criminal who can shrink in size and enlist ants to do his bidding. It also eschews some of the standard Marvel tropes, in having a relatively sedate Big Battle at the end, one that’s played for laughs and which rapidly and even more unusually turns into the final act of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Most of this oddness can probably be laid at the door of the movie’s original director, Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim, Spaced), who was ejected from the project for creative differences, and while replacement director Payton Reed doesn’t do a bad job, Ant-Man is a bit too ordinary in its ordinariness, right down to removing all the references to the superhero’s dumb name that were interspersed throughout the trailers.

For Marvel fans, there’s plenty of cameos and references to both the other movies and the comics, but this feels like a somewhat ordinary addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, one that could quite easily have been a Black Widow movie to greater effect.

Shows I’m watching but not recommending

Ash vs Evil Dead (US: Starz)
1×4 – Brujo – 1×5 – The Host
While there’s a lot to be said for the 30-minute format, as these two eps shows, the series can feel like a collection of two-parters, and just as soon as you want to find out more about someone or something the episode ends. Problematically, Lucy Lawless also gets to be in each episode very little. Where’s the fun in that? All the same, some great laughs to be had, Campbell doing brilliantly at just about everything, and now he has not just two but three hands. Which is nice.
Where can I watch it?
Reviews: First episode; third episode

Blindspot (US: NBC; UK: Sky Living)
1×10 – Evil Handmade Instrument
In which the person who gave Jane Doe all her tattoos is revealed and surprises no-one, not even me. I’m thinking that when this returns next year, I probably won’t bother, but you never know.
Where can I watch it?
Reviews: First episodethird episode

Grandfathered (US: Fox)
1×8 – Gerald’s Two Dads
It’s becoming clear what Grandfathered is. It’s a sitcom for people of a certain age, who are possibly grandparents themselves, but don’t think of themselves as old. They’ve also seen a lot of sitcoms, quite like those sitcoms but would like something they haven’t seen before. The result is Grandfathered, a show in which tired old situations are cracked out time and time again, but which gives relatively intelligent new answers and dialogue. As well as John Stamos being thoroughly lovely towards babies. It’s great fun. 
Where can I watch it?
Reviews: First episodethird episode

Into The Badlands (US: AMC; UK: Amazon Instant Video)
1×2 – Fist Like A Bullet
An improvement over the first episode, with a fight scene that was interesting (oddly, not the one with Daniel Wu in it), some attempt at sensible characterisation and a sudden dawning realisation that women will probably still exist in the future and not just to be used as a slave population of prostitutes. All the same, yawning expanses of yawns for most of the episode. Incidentally, this is supposed to be loosely based on the Chinese classic Journey To The West. Want to know how to adapt Journey To The West in an exciting way, guys? Watch Monkey
Where can I watch it?
Reviews: First episode 

Legends (US: TNT; UK: Sky1)
2×3 – The Legend of Curtis Ballard
Having had to take a week off because of an unfortunate bit of plot-timing, Legends returns with a radicalised young Muslim killing lots of people in Paris. Oops. Slightly less staggering than the first two episodes of the season, deciding mostly to give us some oddly Mormony background to our new FBI protagonist, it managed to remember to give us some excitement, but hasn’t yet given us Sean Bean doing much more than act a bit homeless. But still a smart spy show that’s worth watching.
Where can I watch it?
Reviews: 2×1-2×2

Supergirl (US: CBS; UK: Sky1)
1×4 – How Does She Do It?
The second of the two shows that had to alter its schedule because of the Paris attacks, Supergirl decided to flip round its fourth and fifth episodes. That means that all the events of last week’s episode now make sense in terms of the ongoing plot. Hooray. Weirdly, though, it made a whole lot more sense for this to have been the fifth episode, since it’s the first episode since the pilot that was any good, and the first where the effects were any good – until now, they’ve all felt a bit flimsy, insubstantial and unrealistic. So odd. Maybe the show’s found its feet. It’s still not great, but it’s at least arrested its nose-dive.
Where can I watch it?
Reviews: First episodethird episode

The recommended list

The Bridge (Bron/Broen) (Sweden: SVT1; Denmark: DK1; UK: BBC4)
Nordic Noir’s finest returns, sans Martin who’s in the nick following the events of the second season. But given how much this was very much about the female character (Saga Noren), unlike the subsequent UK and US adaptations, it’s not a huge loss, particularly given how well the replacements have been shaping up. Gripping and surprisingly funny stuff, taking the tension between Christianity and liberalism as the centre of its discussion, it’s as recommended as always and since it’s striking out on its own, this third season is much better so far than the slight retread that was season two. And Sofia Helin’s just great, isn’t she?
Where can I watch it?
Reviews: First episode

Doctor Who (UK: BBC; US: BBC America)
9×10 – Face The Raven
So Clara’s dead. Boo hoo. Or something. As arbitrary deaths go, this was so arbitrary, it feels entirely like she’s coming back again towards the end of the season and this was a complete bluff. Maybe I’m in denial. All the same, for those of you who thought David Tennant’s final send-off, with a 10-minute trek around the known universe to say goodbye was pushing it, here we had everyone standing around waiting for Clara to die, eulogising her while she was still alive, for what felt like a decade. Except because Clara’s been such a nebulous, poorly defined character, everyone struggled to say much more than “She was jolly nice, wasn’t she?”
Where can I watch it?

Limitless (US: CBS)
1×10 – Arm-ageddon
Limitless flips over to almost an Elementary story, with various people with artificial arms losing control of them and doing all manners of crime, including killing people. But it being Limitless, everything is done for laughs, including a marvellous section on just how tedious hacking is and why you only ever got montages in TV shows when it happens. 
Where can I watch it?
Reviews: First episodethird episode

  • snworf

    Bron/Broen gets better with each episode — you're in for a treat 🙂

  • benjitek

    I'm liking it too. Surprised with the takeaway on Badlands. South of Hell is about as bad as TV can get, like CW stuff, but worse…

  • RE: South of Hell. Something to look forward to in the next couple of days then…

    Re: Badlands. I thought everyone loved Monkey

  • Ooh. Exciting! Thanks!

  • benjitek

    Haven't heard of it before, good?

    Still watching Supergirl? Curious how she has that wall of uncovered windows in her apartment with all those closeby buildings looking in and she flys in and out of them unnoticed — no suspicious neighbors. With that short skirt the boys must be throwing kittens up in trees and waiting around, hoping for a kitty-rescue… 😉

  • Monkey's basically a show that everyone who was a kid (particularly boys) watching TV at the end of the 70s and early 80s will have watched and loved. It's brilliant fun for kids and frequently hilarious (possibly because of the English translation) and off the wall, with ridiculous magical martial arts fights every 10 minutes or so, interspersed with Buddhist reverence the rest of the time. I'm not sure how much I'd love it now if I rewatched it – probably best to have treasured memories, but the YouTube clips are top.

  • JustStark

    So I watched the new Doctor Who and basically everything i said about last week's ( http://www.the-medium-is-not-e… ), squared. An entirely contrived episode that has no reason to exist beyond its own existence, which says nothing, doesn't reveal anything, and which the last line of dialogue completely undermines the entire point of.

    I despair, I really do.

    The Muppets continues to be amusing.

    I watched the first episode of Blindspot. Girl-from-Thor continues to be hot but the dialogue was actually painful to listen to. I hope that was just because it was the pilot and they were inept at doing all the set-up, but if it continues to be that bad I don't think i can endure watching it. Bad dialogue is one thing I simply can't stand.

    Scream Queens was funnier this week. It works so long as they aren't actually trying to do the horror stuff.

    The Returned, the penultimate episode, still incredibly slow with the promise of some kind of revelation next week but no guarantee of it. If there isn't some kind of revelation about where the creepy kid came from I will be very cross about the amount of time I have spent watching un-tell-apartable French people looking sad.

    Homeland, still quite good, not brilliant, mostly flashbacks to flesh out the background with one bit of forward-plot-moving at the very end.

    Peep Show: an absolute classic. Started off standardly amusing but when the dinner party got going it turned into utter comic genius, with the final line just summing up the bleak despair that is Mark's (entirely self-inflicted) life. Don't know how this final series can get better but even if it doesn't it's going out on a high.

    could quite easily have been a Black Widow movie to greater effect

    You're obsessed.

  • Andy Butcher

    I'm still very behind on most stuff, and so am trying to cut down my viewing list to something more realistic. I've already dropped a few things I realised I was watching mostly out of habit than any actual interest and/or enjoyment, including a few sitcoms that shall remain unnamed.

    Am with you on Blindspot. It's all getting rather tiresome and predictable, with 'revelations' that were so heavily telegraphed that they're verging on insulting for anyone who's actually been paying attention. It's one of the few new shows I've actually managed to keep up to date with, but it really doesn't look like it's going to be worth the effort to stick with.

    As much as I have a soft spot for Nathan Fillion, I'm also finding it hard to summon up much interest in Castle any more and have only managed to watch the first three of the current season, so that's probably for the chop as well.

    Most of last week's viewing time was taken up by Jessica Jones, which I've already posted about in the review article.

    I did manage to take a look at the pilot for The Expanse, SyFy's upcoming attempt at replicating the critical and commercial success of BSG. It wasn't terrible, but having read the books makes it very hard for me to judge how it would come across to someone who hasn't. Other than Thomas Jane, I'm less than convinced that the cast is going to be up to holding the show together, and they seemed to spend far too much of the budget on recreating some of the aspects of the books that a TV series would have been better off simply skipping over. Still, the source material is strong, so although this was certainly not a patch on the BSG mini-series or the classic '33', it wasn't bad enough for me to give up all hope just yet.

    Ant-Man I saw in the cinema back when it first came out. Couldn't help wishing that we'd got to see the full Edgar Wright version, but I still enjoyed it quite a bit, and for the MCU geek it was a surprisingly important film, confirming that there have been super heroes in between WWII and the present and introducing the concept of the Microverse/'Quantum Realm'.

    Anyway, back to trying to trim my viewing list down to a more manageable size… 🙂

  • Doctor Who: I thought this week's episode was excellent. Some issues, but generally excellent.

    Blindspot: gets better, but not much

    “You're obsessed”

    With having a superheroine movie rather than a generic superhero movie? Yeah, why not. There are worse things to be obsessed about, particularly when you have Marvel saying that one of the reasons for there not being a Black Widow (or any other superheroine movie until Captain Marvel in a couple of years' time) is a lack of space in the schedule. Yet here's Ant-Man. Small superhero, big space in the schedule.

  • JustStark

    Some issues, but generally excellent

    Really? Did it all not just feel incredibly contrived? Like all the steps in the puzzle that were only there to up the running time to forty-five minutes (eg, why did whoever set the trap up write the message somewhere he had to dig to get to — why not just write it on the wall of the room where he arrived, so it was the first thing he saw?)

    And especially at the end… given that the whole thing apparently seems to have been set up to get him to tell a certain secret, and the whole episode was about the incredible length he would go to to not tell the secret, and then at the end he… tells the secret to a random kid, unprompted. Could he not just have done that at the start and saved us the contrivances?

    With having a superheroine movie rather than a generic superhero movie

    Specifically a Black Widow movie, though?

    Meh. Personally I would trade them all for a film which isn't based on decades-old comics, whether it's boring superheroes, boring superheroines, or whatever. Just something that is original.

    But try selling that to the money people, I know.

  • In a sense it was contrived, in that it was basically an effort to do The Avengers' 'The House That Jack Built' within the format of Doctor Who. But it's clear that the steps to extend the running time were also to up the time he spent with the wraith, telling it his secrets. If he went to the room straight away, he'd get killed instantly, wouldn't he, unless he managed to work out immediately that telling the truth was the thing that stopped it. It is, after all, the Time Lords behind all this, isn't it? (that's the suggestion at the end).

    As for the final revelation, one presumes (given the answers are probably next week) that it's a lie or it's something that he doesn't want to tell anyone except perhaps the Time Lords and only once he's back on Gallifrey and can do something about it. After all, he was blabbing the fact he was half-human all over the Paul McGann TV Movie and it didn't seem to bother him then…

    “Specifically a Black Widow movie, though?”

    I like Black Widow as a character in the movies and in the comics, so she'd be my top choice. But I'd take She-Hulk (if done right in the style of Charles Soule) and the latest female Thor. I'm also looking forward to Captain Marvel, since I used to read her strips when she was Ms Marvel and for a while after the name-change until it became clear they were changing the title for a much younger audience than we middle-aged folks. I'd also take a Kitty Pryde solo movie, except Marvel doesn't have the film rights.

  • JustStark

    If he went to the room straight away, he'd get killed instantly,
    wouldn't he, unless he managed to work out immediately that telling the
    truth was the thing that stopped

    Well, that was rather odd as well: how did the Time Lords know, when they set it up, that he would tell the truth and stop it at all? For all they knew he could just have died in that first corridor, or in the room, if he hadn't happened to blurt out the truth.

    More to the point, presumably they were monitoring events (or how would they know when they'd got the answer to their question?) so why didn't they step in and stop things once it became clear that every iteration was going to be exactly the same and they were never going to get the answer they wanted by those means?

    (And even more to the point, anyone who knows the Doctor at all surely knows that the way you get him to tell you something you want to know is by putting his companion in danger, so why didn't they have girl-fromGame of Thrones kidnap both the Doctor and Clara? Clara's death may not have been in the original plan, but the Doctor's being kidnapped alone certainly was, which seems stupid because it deprives them of the one thing that is known to give leverage of the Doctor, the life of his companion-at-the-time.)

    Basically none of it makes sense. It's just a totally arbitrary load of set pieces each of which only exists because the writer has arbitrarily decided it will, and therefore none of it adds up to or means anything beyond 'here's a puzzle'.

  • You can apply NerdFilla™ if you want. Presumably, Gallifrey can't have much effect on N-Space from its pocket universe, or else it wouldn't be trapped. So the Time Lords could set up the trap in the confession dial but maybe they can't do anything once it's set-up – they used up their energy or the Confession Dial is impregnable once set off. The Wraith is there to scare but it's the slowest moving monster imaginable, so the Doctor (who has a whole new regeneration cycle to play with, too) can work out over time that he needs to tell the truth. And the Time Lords are doing what they're always doing – watching but not intervening. As for the companion, humans aren't allowed on Gallifrey (theoretically), so why would the Time Lords bring a companion along? They may not want to actually kill anyone, too, so threatening the companion is a no-no.

    There are issues, but you can fill in most of the blanks if you want. Ultimately, though, it's Doctor Who. It's not real life. You might as well ask why the Daleks don't just shoot him the second they see him.

  • GYAD

    BLINDSPOT – The totally-not-ripped-off-from-Blacklist adventures of a painfully skinny chick with T-Rex arms (muh SEAL skills) and a dull Fed against generic or absurdly contrived baddies.

    THE LAST KINGDOM – The birth of England…as seen by a petulant manchild (bonus: features endless self-loathing). Oh, and a testudo.

    PEEP SHOW – Possibly the most brilliantly uncomfortable dinner party in sitcom history (with extra Ottomans).

    TOAST OF LONDON – Bonkers.

    CAPITAL – Tedious Guardianista state-of-the-nation moralising.

    LONGMIRE – Cowboy justice at its best.

    DETECTORISTS – Brilliant. It also has much better historical costumes than Last Kingdom.

  • JustStark

    You can apply NerdFilla™ if you want

    Oh, you can jump through hoops to justify it, of course you can, you can do that with anything.

    But the problem is, just like last week's, the complete lack of any kind of subtext. Everything there is just there, spelled-out, happening arbitrarily simply because it's the thing that happens.

    Like I keep saying: I always thought the point of literature was to illustrate things, not just say them. To write a story which is a surface, but which has deeper levels of meaning underneath.

    With modern Doctor Who, it seems like the story has been abandoned and all we get now is just the meaning, raw, where things just happen that way because that's what the meaning is: so instead of a guest character in danger and Clara working out a clever way to make herself the target instead, the guest character has a literal death-clock and she just has to say, 'Transfer it to me' and it does.

    So it's all just so shallow. There is only one level, the level of 'what happens just because it's what is directed to happen'.

    And it makes me cross.

  • I think that's largely a fair criticism (of a lot of modern television, not just Who, as well as a lot of classic Who, too). I think in this case there's at least some sub-text, though (that the Capaldi Doctor has stopped being a complete dick, as per the previous season, because he's basically internalised Clara as his conscience).

    But as you say, it's more of a puzzle story. And it's one where you can literally hear and see the protagonist's internal monologue, making sub-text text by design.

    All the same, just like the average Sherlock Holmes story, there's not necessarily room or even need for subtext in a puzzle story. That's not the purpose of a puzzle story. Its purpose is to be an intellectual puzzle for the reader to try to solve before the protagonist does. So I don't begrudge it for failing to deliver on something it shouldn't have tried to deliver, any more than I begrudge The House That Jack Built for being a superlative puzzle story/character piece that didn't have any subtext either.

    Last week's episode, on the other hand…

  • JustStark

    All the same, just like the average Sherlock Holmes story, there's not
    necessarily room or even need for subtext in a puzzle story

    The thing is that Moffatt used to do stories that did both work as puzzles, and have depths: The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances and the Girl in the Fireplace are both puzzle plots, but in both of them the puzzle is not just for its own sake but points to something else, some deeper subtext.

    Even Blink, which Moffatt himself has claimed 'exists only to show off how clever it is' (or something like that), isn't quite as bad as he claims: yes, the Angels themselves are pure meaningless puzzle pieces (and not the thought-symbols they would later become, when brought back in a story that realises they would only ever work once and so basically entirely reinvents them from the ground up) but their time-travelling attack feeds into themes about regret and small moments and choices that are in there, but never fulling spelt out, so they work as subtext.

    So it's not like it was impossible, because it has been done and done well.

    But then, around about Matt Smith's second series, it's as if all that was abandoned and 'stories' were deemed to be unimportant: all that matters is the spelling-out of everything on the surface, the elimination of depth, and it's okay to just have episodes that have no story at all and are entirely a set of declamatory sketches.

    The change wasn't all at once, of course, Matt smith still got some stories right up until the end, but with Capaldi's arrival the trend has reached — well, I hope its nadir, as I can't see where it can go after things like these last two, Kill the Moon or the Dalek/Master two-parter.

  • Mark Carroll

    I keep wondering about Homeland. On the one hand, I get the impression it's pretty good even still, but on the other I already watch too much television.

  • Mark Carroll

    I'd be happy if the actual occurrences and situation seemed to arise more naturally instead of being transparently serving plot needs. Subtext too would be luxury!

  • Mark Carroll

    The stories you mention at first, including “Blink”, are partly why I was looking forward to Moffatt's tenure. And then you mentioned “Kill the Moon”…

  • Mark Carroll

    Excellent. I have to postpone it for now, but it's good to have something to look forward to! Especially, I am glad to hear it's not just a slight retread.

  • Mark Carroll

    “Terminator: TSCC” has remained one of the highlights here, I'm afraid. I don't think the mid-season advanced-drones three-dots stuff is especially engaging or coherent, and I wonder if that is part of how the show got cancelled, but it's still one of the best shows I'm presently (re)watching. It's fun and varied and actually better than I remember.

    We're filling time with “House” (probably season six now) which, while it's quite missable, certainly not needing a second viewing, seems to remain consistently quite good; I could live without the whole House/Cuddy romance but that's fortunately generally not most of it. Though Thirteen's just gone, which is a pain, because she was becoming fun. It might be more missable now for a while.

    We're watching “The Walking Dead” at this moment. I think we probably kept watching for way too long, I don't think it's going to be much more than holing up in places for a while and walkers coming or evil gangs coming and the occasional regular dying and then everyone fleeing to somewhere else. There's potential for interesting development in the fundamental situation, but they've had plenty of time to pursue that and I've not seen it happen. They've had the occasional good episode, but not enough interesting story to fill the many hours. Perhaps it would help if I cared more about more of the characters. Of course, there are enough of them that some are annoying.

    What I am liking, beyond T:TSCC, is “The Man in the High Castle”. That I'm finding myself looking forward to. The premise affords us interesting occupation under both the Nazis and the Japanese, there's an underlying mystery, and plenty going on, with some variety in people and situations.

    A third show I'm liking is “Jessica Jones”. We're maybe halfway through, I don't know. She's engaging and plenty of fun. Well, she's badass and strange/damaged and hot and goal-directed and blunt, and I confess to generally enjoying that combination. The plot is moving along reasonably too. David Tennant's doing his usual reasonable job at that kind of character; he's well-cast.

    “Grimm” has been a little better lately in being more monster-of-the-week than silly international arc. “Once Upon a Time” continues to pull bobbins out of its ass. I think I still have “The Affair” to watch, it's definitely been laying the groundwork for an interesting conclusion. I must be waiting for “The Blacklist”, too, it certainly feels like a while since I last saw it.

    Oh, yes, “Doctor Who”. It was okay. I accept JustStark's criticisms, for sure, and those timescales were stupidly long (the loop thing generally tedious given the lack of inter-cycle variation), and mostly it didn't make much sense, but my expectations are low enough that actually it wasn't too bad, and I'm certainly curious to see the second part. So far this season's not really had a high point for me, but nothing persistently cringeworthy either.

  • JustStark

    And then you mentioned “Kill the Moon”…

    Well, yes, as an example of when the 'don't bother with stories' tendency reached what seems to be its most extreme point (and has since remained there).

    Basically I don't see how new Doctor Who can get any worse, in the flawed direction it has been taking, than Kill the Moon.

  • JustStark

    It's basically been reinvented as a modern-day spy drama, le Carré with Wikileaks, and has almost nothing to do with the original story that went out under the Homeland name.

    Which was exactly the right thing to do: Basically, the problem was the couple of series after that story had ended where they kept trying to make it about English guy pretending to be the brainwashed marine.

    Once they realised that was a dead end, got rid of him, and basically changed the entire set-up from page one, it became worth watching again (if not ever actually being as good as the first serial again, but then, how could it be?).

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