What have you been watching? Including Supergirl, Halt and Catch Fire and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow

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. 

We’re now nearing mid-Fall season/mid-Spring season (delete according to the hemisphere of your choice), which means there’s few new shows heading our way, except in the topsy space-time continuum that is the Internet, where blink and you’ll miss another new show arriving of a Friday. That means I’ve nearly caught up with the backlog.

This week, I should have reviews of Graves (US: Epix), Eyewitness (US: USA), Divorce (US: HBO; UK: Sky Atlantic), Shoot The Messenger (Canada: CBC), and maybe Deep Water (Australia: SBS; UK: BBC Four), too.

I’ll also be passing third-episode verdicts on Westworld (US: HBO; UK: Sky Atlantic), Frequency (US: The CW; UK: Netflix), No Tomorrow (US: The CW), Timeless (US: NBC) and maybe Hyde & Seek (Australia: Nine).

Outside gambles: reviews of Crisis in Six Scenes (Amazon), Goliath (Amazon), Easy (Netflix), Haters Back Off (Netflix), Offseason (Amazon) and El Marginal (Marginal) (Netflix).

Elsewhere, I’ve already reviewed a whole bunch of Australian shows – Hyde & Seek (Nine), Rosehaven (ABC), The Wrong Girl (Ten) and The Secret Daughter (Seven) – as well as Kim’s Convenience (Canada: CBC) and American Housewife (US: ABC); I’ve also passed a third-episode verdict on This Is Us (US: NBC; UK: Channel 4). 

That means that after the jump, I’ll be looking at the latest episodes of Ash vs Evil Dead, Designated Survivor, Doctor Doctor, The Exorcist, The Flash, Frequency, High Maintenance, Impastor, Insecure, Lethal Weapon, Lucifer, No Tomorrow, Son of Zorn, Speechless, Timeless and You’re The Worst. I’ll also be looking at the season finale of Halt and Catch Fire, as well as the return of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl.

One of those shows will be getting promoted to recommended. Cool, hey?

Shows I’m watching but not recommending

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (US: The CW; UK: Sky 1)
2×1 – Out of Time
At the end of the first season, I said “it seemed to find its feet in the second half of the season, suggesting the second season will be better. Hopefully.” Well, here’s season two and it’s certainly not better. But freed of all its moping and darkness, it’s also a lot more enjoyable, with the show embracing the stupid almost as readily as Ash vs Evil Dead. The history was nonsense, the science was nonsense, the location filming was nonsense, but who cares when we had dinosaurs, lesbian queens, witch trials, Albert Einstein, a crossover with Arrow, and more?

The show’s producers have also wisely decided that a Big Bad whom we’ve never met before and who was a bit naff is probably a bad choice for a season-long foe (cf Vandal Savage), so have brought on two familiar foes from both Arrow and The Flash to team up and really up the nerd ante. On top of that, we have the arrival of the JSA. Squee! Or something.

Totally stupid, not brilliantly written or acted, but still fun and granted a reprieve from deletion from my viewing queue. For now.
Reviews: First episodefourth episode

Designated Survivor (US: ABC; UK: Netflix)
1×4 – The Enemy
Another show that could have bit the big one this week but rescued itself with Kiefer finally manning up to do all the things he should have been doing two episodes ago. Fingers crossed, full Bauer by episode seven.
Reviews: First episode; third episode

Doctor Doctor (Australia: Nine)
1×4-1×5
It took a while but the show finally found its feet in episode five, giving us more or less the right amount of concern, humour and character moments for the format. Cordser is still the main – perhaps even only – reason for watching it, but if you fancy the idea of Royal Pains in the Australian countryside, here’s finally the show for you.
Reviews: First episode; third episode

The Exorcist (US: Fox; UK: Syfy)
1×4 – The Moveable Feast
I’ll be honest – I gave up after 15 minutes of this, since the show is clearly now just gore instead of horror and what decent attempts it does make to be scary are trampled underfoot by the incidental music, sound effects, et al, which are all desperately shouting “THIS IS SCARY. JUST LIKE THAT OTHER SCARY MOVIE YOU SAW.” That said, the next episode is supposed to be a real-time, episode-long exorcism, so I’ll probably tune in for that, just to see what it’s like.
Reviews: First episode; third episode

Frequency (US: The CW; UK: Netflix)
1×2 – Signal and Noise
In which a time travel shows spells out the dangers of interfering with the past (cf Timeless, The Flash). While it’s a decent enough explanation, I think the timing of it relative to the rest of the slightly duff plot (spoiler alert: mummy dumping daddy while daddy is trying to stop her getting murdered) stretches credulity a little far and makes our heroine look like a bit of an ungrateful twathead. Sticking with it, though.
Reviews: First episode

High Maintenance (US: HBO)
1×4 – Tick – 1×5 – Selfie
As usual, marvellously observed, with episode four being an exploration of how the older generation are now like kids. Episode five was a slightly odder affair, with the sad, short first part about a social-media addict who lives her life for others but without making any real connections or even knowing how without talking about herself; the second going a bit meta with a TV show within the show about the life of ‘the guy’ and one of his clients that also featured a crossover with Girls. It’s a bit hard to say if High Maintenance has a message, but as an observation of modern society – or at least a very particular cross-section of New York society – it’s hard to think of anything better or as compassionate about its subjects. 
Reviews: First episode; third episode

Impastor (US: TV Land)
2×3 – Buddy’s Prayer
Generally still agreeable enough, but the laugh count is now getting perilously low, so unless we have a bit more of Buddy actually impasting, rather than simply getting thrown from one old enemy to another, I might be diving out of the show soon.
Review: First episode 

Insecure (US: HBO; UK: Sky Atlantic)
1×2 – Messy as F**K
Without Larry Wilmore co-writing, Insecure isn’t as exciting a show, it seems, but it was a good examination of modern dating for black women, at least. Issa Rae’s ‘blacksplaining’, do-gooding workplace did offer laughs, but more obviously and with less insight than the more personal storylines.
Review: First episode

Lethal Weapon (US: Fox; UK: ITV)
1×4 – There Goes The Neighborhood
A generally bog-standard episode warning kids not to hang out with rough types is significantly enlivened by a little bit of politics about black kids being shot by the police, as well as some surprisingly harsh, unbuddyish interplay between Riggs and Murtaugh. Looking forward to Riggs’ new haircut now.
Review: First episode; third episode

Lucifer (US: Fox; UK: Amazon) 
2×3 – Sin-Eater
Oh dear. Serial killers. Police investigations. And guest appearances by Robin Givens and Vik Sahay (Chuck). Still, at least there was a mother-son reunion, which I quite liked…
Reviews: First episodethird episode

No Tomorrow (US: The CW)
1×2 – No Crying in Baseball
And the 20somethings decide to go off buying washing machines for the bucket list. That was unexpected and more than a little dull. Still, at least we get an explanation for Joshua Sasse’s transatlantic accent – although not why it was mildly Australian a third of the time this week. 
Reviews: First episode

Son of Zorn (US: Fox)
1×4 – The Weekend Warrior
Not as funny as previous weeks’ episodes, but nerds will note this was the first week where superior technology à la He-Man rather than Conan The Barbarian was used. 
Reviews: First episode; third episode

Speechless (US: ABC)
1×4 – I-N-S- INSPIRATIONS
Black guy and disabled kid discover their powers combined get them special treatment. Well, specialer treatment. Meanwhile, the rest of the family have a day off and discover that life is great when you don’t have a disabled kid in tow. Hmm. Not sure about the message this week…
Reviews: First episode; third episode

Supergirl (US: The CW; UK: Sky1)
2×1 – The Adventures of Supergirl
After airing on CBS last year – a slightly unnatural network for a superheroine show, to say the least – Supergirl has now relocated to a far more comfortable location, The CW, where it can sit alongside all the other DC superhero shows. Needless to say, there was also a considerable amount of plot retooling, with various characters getting shunted around, relationships changed, secret bases moved and so on, some of it more plausible than others. Most importantly of all, though, after talking about him more or less every episode last season, the show finally brought Superman on board – and what a genuine joy that was. Fingers crossed, all this retooling will be for the better, with many crossovers ahead of us. 
Reviews: First episode; third episode

Timeless (US: NBC)
1×2 – The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
In which a time travel shows spells out the dangers of interfering with the past (cf Frequency, The Flash). Strange, though, that those dangers mainly consist of Abigail Spencer’s life being ruined, rather than anyone else’s – do the other time travellers even have lives, BTW? But an episode that finally remembered that time travel shows should be fun, even if black hero is once again having a shite time of things and our heroes seem to end up constantly trying to ensure that various people are successfully killed as history recorded, rather than trying to save them. I wonder if at the end of the season they’ll end up having a Mitchell and Webb moment.
Review: First episode

The recommended list

Ash vs Evil Dead (US: Starz; UK: Virgin On Demand)
2×3 – Last Call
I promised last week that Ash vs Evil Dead would get a promotion provided it stayed on course with its glorious combination of stupidity and sickness, and Last Call not only gave us both of them, it also gave us a Xena reunion, with Ted “brother of Sam” Raimi – aka Joxer – turning up as Ash’s childhood drugs buddy. The final scene was truly marvellous, too. Just needs Lucy Lawless to have a bit more slaying to do.
Reviews: First episodethird episode

The Flash (US: The CW; UK: Sky 1)
3×2 – Paradox
In which a time travel shows spells out the dangers of interfering with the past (cf Frequency, Timeless). We also meet this season’s Big Bad (probably). How many of the Flashpoint changes are going to stick remain to be seen…
Reviews: First episodethird episode

Halt and Catch Fire (US: AMC; UK: Amazon)
3×9 – NIM – 3×10 – NeXT
Well, blimey. I’m a prophet. Last week, I said: “You can see they might be heading for a gang reunion in the finale, since everyone has one part of a puzzle that would work if they were united (although maybe not for five years). But Halt and Catch Fire isn’t the kind of show to give you necessarily what you were expecting.” And guess what? They leapt forward five years and had a gang reunion for the first time since season 1. I did not see that coming. Except I did!

Self-congratulation to one side for a moment, a beautiful two-part finale where even the episode titles made me grin happily like an idiot. While the season as a whole has been a little less idiosyncratic and oddly paced than before, taking away some of the show’s oddest but unique qualities, it’s probably been the best dramatically and in terms of the characters. As well as a marvellous take on computing history – what mainstream drama would ever think to dedicate a five-minute scene talking about the beauty of the http protocol and the engineering of NeXT workstations, as well as expecting its audience to know exactly who was responsible for them without naming him? – it’s also been a beautiful look at aging, with the fiery characters of ten years past in the first season now older, more mature, more willing to forgive and forget.

It’s also been a lovely look at what it actually takes to change the world and succeed in business, with Lee Pace’s visionary unable to do anything without the software expertise, management expertise and hardware expertise of the others and vice versa – until next season, perhaps. Let’s see.
Reviews: First episodethird episode

You’re The Worst (US: FXX; UK: 5*)
3×7 – The Only Thing That Helps
A good slice of negative Britness, coupled with the usual misanthropic standards of You’re The Worst made not only for good viewing but a return to form. 
Review: First episode