Streaming TV

Pick of the Amazon pilots: The Last Tycoon, The Tick, I Love Dick and Jean Claude Van Johnson

Normally, I don’t bother reviewing Amazon pilots for a number of reasons:

  1. They’re pilots, so there’s no guarantee they’re going to end up becoming series.
  2. Pilots aren’t always representative of shows, with some shows starting off badly and getting better, or vice versa, as the Barrometer will explain to you if you ever corner it backstage.
  3. Amazon’s ‘pilot seasons’ always seem to come at my busiest times.

However, since August’s been a bit quiet and the latest pilot season has had some intriguing entries, I decided to make an exception – just this time.

So after the jump, I’ll be providing mini-reviews of F Scott Fitzgerald adaptation The Last Tycoon, superhero comedy The Tick, Kevin Bacon love affair I Love Dick and meta action comedy Jean Claude Van Johnson. No prizes for guessing who stars in the last one.

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What have you been watching? Including My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, Mr Robot, The Last Ship and Outcast

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. 

Well, look at that. I’m back blogging in August. Okay, the Daily News won’t be back until September and I’m not going daily until then for anything else, either, but there’s a good chance I’ll be peppering August with further posts, including a look at the latest Amazon pilots, such as The Tick, Jean-Claude Van Johnson and I Love Dick, I hope.

Elsewhere, I reviewed the first season of Baron Noir (France: Canal+; UK: Amazon Prime), which was my holiday project, and I left you with my thoughts on Stranger Things (Netflix) and Star Trek Beyond (2016) before I went. But surprisingly, since then, there hasn’t actually been much new TV and as I did quite a purge before the holidays, the only regulars I’ll be covering after the jump are The Last Ship and Mr Robot, as well as everything up to the season finale of Outcast. I also haven’t been to the movies, being away and all, not even to see Jason Bourne

But we did watch one movie rather a lot:

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016) (iTunes)
The sequel to the worldwide success that was wedding culture-clash comedy My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002), My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 brings back virtually the entire cast to just about manage to do something different, with Nia Vardalos and John Corbett’s daughter Elena Kampouris (American Odyssey) having to choose whether to go away to college or not, while facing the constant pressure to get married to a good Greek boy; meanwhile, Vardalos’ parents discover the priest at their wedding didn’t sign the certificate, meaning they’re going to have to have – you guessed it – a big fat Greek wedding.

Vardalos’ script is mostly a mother-daughter story, but is also partly a rejoinder to the original movie’s stereotypical portrayal of Greek culture, emphasising its potential for acceptance and diversity as well as the cloying conservatism shown in the original movie. Wisely, it also gives Andrea Martin far more to do. However, there are few of the original’s insights, various plot lines (eg Corbett’s relationship with his parents) go virtually nowhere, the Greek (what little there is of it, even between people who are from Greece) is atrocious, and the general message of hope and pushing boundaries of the original is destroyed, with Vardalos’ travel agency having closed between movies, forcing her to work for the family restaurant again, and her brother’s artistic talents going precisely nowhere either.

Nice to see everyone back together again, but a shame that Vardalos doesn’t have much left to say, it seems (did she use it all up on the TV series?).

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