It’s “What have you been watching?”, your chance to recommend anything you’ve been watching this week
I keep forgetting I end up having a social life in December for a change. You may have noticed there was no Boxset Monday this week. Sorry about that. I’ve not even managed to get through an episode of Netflix’s Dark – perhaps because I kept having to switch it from “English (Dubbed)” to “German (Subtitled)”. Fingers crossed, I’ll have got to the end of by next Monday, but seeing as I’m away in Germany (how ironic) this weekend, I’m not sure I’ll manage it. Still, let’s see how it goes.
Elsewhere this week, I passed a fourth-episode verdict on Marvel’s Runaways (US: Hulu), but while there are some new shows on their way this week, including Happy! (US: Syfy), that was about all I could review since everything else new was boxsets. Hopefully, I’ll get round to them at some point, hey?
After the jump then, let’s look at the regulars: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Mr Robot, No Activity, Les témoins (Witnesses), Marvel’s Runaways and Travelers. Oh yes, Professor T‘s back, too. As a boxset. Sigh.
Shows I’m watching but not necessarily recommending
Les témoins (Witnesses) (France: France 2; UK: BBC Four)
Oh dear. I think I’m out. After a good start, we’re now in stupidly ridiculous territory already, with our heroines torturing people in their bedsits to extract information – gosh, how could that ever be linked back to them? – and we’re back to having an evil genius to fight.
All the moody titles, beautiful foggy location shooting et al can’t hide the fact this is very, very silly now. Sorry, Audrey, but it’s time to go.
Episode reviews: 2×1-2×2
Marvel’s Runaways (US: Hulu)
1×5 – Kingdom
The first “so cool!” episode so far, as our team finally come together and start deploying superpowers en masse, giving us an episode one could almost call pacy. We also get the arrival of the show’s true Big Bad: yep, it’s rent-an-evil Julian McMahon (Fantastic Four, Dirk Gently, Childhood’s End). The show’s nicely working through shades of grey as well, giving us some nifty family moments and giving us sympathy for the previous generation’s devils, making this liable for a promotion to ‘recommended’ next week if it keeps this up.
Episode reviews: 1-4
No Activity (US: Hulu)
1×4 – The Metric System
Not a hugely funny episode until the increasingly ubiquitous Mackenzie Davies shows up to talk about the perfection of the metric system, after which everything becomes far more interesting.
Episode reviews: 1-3
Professor T (Belgium: Eén; UK: More4)
It may be because All4 has decided to boxset this and make it available all in one go, but I’m finding the prospect of watching the rest of Professor T to be less than appetising. It’s more of the same, increasingly miserable storylines, with our hero still imaginatively dickish, but now out of psychiatric hospital. Unfortunately, Dan (or is that Daan) is still disabled and lady detective’s dad is now full-on demented. It would help if the cases were more interesting, but “who poisoned the chocolates?” isn’t that fun as things go.
Not an impressive start to the season, so I might well be bowing out soon, if it doesn’t get funnier again.
Episode reviews: 1-2
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (US: The CW; UK: Sky1)
3×9 – Beebo The God of War
Fully, properly silly, with this episode’s set designer basically watching a few episodes of Vikings to work out how to make things look. Also, another cast member bowed out, so is ambiguous-sexuality lady time agent going to join our roving band of idiots or is Wentworth Miller going to stay for a while? Or both?
Whatever the case, with John Constantine back for the next episode (woo hoo!), I’ll be tuning in.
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (US: BBC America; UK: Netflix)
2×8 – Little Guy, Black Hair
The plot gets explained. Kind of! Lots of fun and reunions, made better by Dirk getting his mojo back. But so much silliness, you maybe don’t notice that the plot didn’t really go anywhere and it was really just an info dump.
Mr Robot (US: USA; UK: Amazon)
3×8 – eps3.7_dont-delete-me.ko
More 80s pop culture references, with Back to the Future 2 becoming all important, but a nice nod to Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure in the soundtrack, too. Some top character work on top of that. That said, so much treading water, rather than advancement of the plot and a possibly worrying hint that the sci-fi element of the first episode of the season might be coming back. I do hope the twist is that it doesn’t.
Travelers (Canada: Showcase; UK: Netflix)
2×8 – Traveler 0027
Something of a bottle episode as a traveler (no, no clues) goes on trial and everyone sits around talking. I’m starting to worry, though, that the show is firstly spending too much time talking about conflicts with the Faction and secondly becoming too sci-fi, with “the quantum frame” showing up in everyday conversation too much. And are they changing the rules on time travel? Things don’t seem to work the way they did before.
Caveats aside, a strong episode, with some clever twists, a nifty exploration of how to have a conversation with the future (given existing Travelers rules) and plenty of comedy, as well as hard sci-fi. Plus a musing on the nature of the soul and where it can be found in the brain, which I wasn’t expecting.