What have you been watching? Including American Gods, Master of None, Lucifer and The Americans

It’s “What have you been watching?”, my chance to tell you what movies and TV I’ve been watching recently and your chance to recommend anything you’ve been watching.

That flood of new shows I was expected? Hasn’t shown up. Hmmm. Wonder why. Anyway, we’re still on a Tuesday because Sunday is still quite full, plus Upfronts week coverage took a bit of work to put together yesterday.

That means it’s time to look at the regulars, including the latest episodes of American Gods, The Americans, Doctor Who, The Flash, Great News, The Handmaid’s Tale, Lucifer and Silicon Valley. Netflix also released season two of Master of None on Friday and I’ve watched… an episode of it. So I can talk about that, at least, after the jump. See you in a mo. 

Shows I’ve been watching but not recommending

American Gods (US: Starz; UK: Amazon)
1×3 – Head Full of Snow
Verdict postponed until next week on this one, since it felt like the first properly Gaiman-esque rather than Fuller-esque episode of the show so far. Plenty to enjoy, some lovely flights of fantasy and the introduction of a god and a djinn for no especial reason was a nice touch. Plus Shadow seems to have acquired a personality. Let’s see how it shapes up next week.
Reviews: First episode

Doctor Who (UK: BBC; US: BBC America)
10×5 – Oxygen
Not bad. The political commentary at the end was a bit agitprop and none of it was as frightening as it wanted to be. But generally, a decent enough bit of sci-fi horror.

The Flash (US: The CW; UK: Sky 1)
3×21 – Cause and Effect
Silly nonsense, but fun as Barry got to enjoy himself for a change. 
Reviews: First episodethird episode

Great News (US: NBC)
1×05 – Snowmageddon Of The Century – 1×06 – Serial Arsonist 
Reviews: First two episodes

Lucifer (US: Fox; UK: Amazon) 
2×16 – God Johnson
A surprisingly delightful and even moving episode, in which Psych‘s Timothy Omundson turns up as God and Lucifer gets to chat with his dad. No spoilers, of course, but that might not be exactly how it turns out. In retrospect, it’s now clear that the season’s been padded out with extra episodes to fill Fox’s order count, which means we’re only now getting to the good stuff. Sigh.
Reviews: First episodethird episode

Master of None (Netflix)
More genteel comedy as Aziz Ansari, still in Italy learning how to cook, muddles his way through his own version of The Bicycle Thief that’s mostly in Italian. Not what we were expecting, I’m sure, but likable enough stuff – more so if you’re a fan of Italian culture.
Reviews: First six episodes; rest of the first season

The recommended list

The Americans (US: FX; UK: Amazon/ITV)
5×10 – Darkroom
Less resurrection of past storylines this time, although Margot Martingdale’s fierce presence reminds us of how things were in season one. I liked what they did what Page this episode, too, but when’s the hammer going to drop and all revealed, since there’s only so much teasing we can all take?
Reviews: First episodethird episode

The Handmaid’s Tale (US: Hulu; UK: AmazonChannel 4)
1×5 – Faithful
It’s really hard to review something you’re watching through your fingers. Horrifying viewing, that once again juxtaposes pre- and post-dystopian worlds to show neither to be perfect as far as its denizens are concerned, but how the messy, pre-dystopia had more colour, more variety and more joy.

By the way, it’s coming to Channel 4 now, not Amazon. We were misled.
Reviews: Episodes 1-3

Silicon Valley (US: HBO; UK: Sky Atlantic)
4×4 – Teambuilding Exercises
The new company gets legs. However, it’s clear the show’s now run out of acutely observant things to say about Silicon Valley culture and now just wants to have fun with its nerds. Which is no bad thing, of course, but it does mean the comedy’s all a bit broader now.
Reviews: First episodethird episode


  • 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.