It’s “What have you been watching?”, your chance to recommend anything you’ve been watching this week
The flurry of new Spring shows has been dying down of late, but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped regaling you with reviews of the latest and greatest – or at least freshest – shows. True, Trust and The Terror are still sitting in that viewing queue, looking ever more unappealing, but I’m still going to give them a shot. And elsewhere, I have at least given you reviews of:
- The Detail (Canada: CTV; UK: Channel 5)
- Killing Eve (US: BBC America; UK: BBC One/BBC Three)
- Lost in Space (season one) (Netflix)
As well as a third-episode verdict on The Crossing (US: ABC; UK: Amazon). Incidentally, in case you haven’t visited that The Detail review recently, it turns out that it really is a remake of ITV’s Scott & Bailey. They kept that one quiet (at first).
Being the lazy type, I can’t be bothered to check the worldwide schedules for new shows, so let it all be as much of a surprise to me as it is to you if a new one materialises for me to review – or as if I actually get round to Trust and The Terror.
After the jump, a look at the latest episodes of the regulars: The Americans, Deep State, The Good Fight, Harrow, Killing Eve, Krypton, Legion, The Looming Tower, SEAL Team, Silicon Valley and Timeless. We’ve also had the season finale of Black Lightning, so I’ll be letting you know how that went, too.
Shows I’m watching but not necessarily recommending
Deep State (UK: Fox UK)
1×2 – A Kind of Warfare
More of the same, really – a spy drama aspiring for great heights but getting so weighed down in clichés that it never gets there. While at least the ‘Deep State’ of the title is turning out to be a bit different from the wingnut definition, not even the arrival of Anastasia Griffith as a CIA bod can really boost the show to acceptable heights.
Episode reviews: 1
Harrow (Australia: ABC)
1×6 – Aurum Potestas Es
The first properly good episode of the series so far, surprisingly is one that focuses more on the show’s serial aspects than on the episodic mystery and up to now, the serial aspect has been the show’s weakness. I’m surprised Harrow hasn’t been made to recuse himself from the case, though…
On a marginal meta note, I can’t tell if the use of Cardinal‘s theme at one point as an in-story bad music choice was a shout-out or a diss of Cardinal, Nordic Noir or both.
Episode reviews: 1-2
Killing Eve (US: BBC America; UK: BBC One/BBC Three)
1×2 – I’ll Deal With Him Later
Not quite as impressive or as stylish as the first episode, as the show tries to establish its format for the following episodes. Our heroine is in London setting up her grotty new MI6 office with her mates, while in Paris, we get to know Villenelle a little better and discover she’s properly sociopathic. Kim Bodnia also gets a bit more to do and Fiona Shaw offers a few laughs, too. It’s still loads of fun and the soundtrack helps to make it more stylish than perhaps it actually is, but it left me a little colder than the first episode did.
Episode reviews: 1
Krypton (US: Syfy)
1×4 – The Word of Rao
Well, that ending was predictable, wasn’t it? Still, a glimpse at religion, Krypton-style, was a good point in the episode. Nevertheless, I do hope we move away from all the inter-house twattery in favour of some proper action some point soon.
Episode reviews: 1
The Looming Tower (US: Hulu; UK: Amazon)
1×9 – The Looming Tower
An important episode, for obvious reasons, as we reach the eve of 9/11, and the tension really is palpable. That’s heightened by the return of using real images and footage of the terrorists as well as the subsequent 9/11 enquiry. Intriguingly, the latter is shown at the end, after we’ve already seen the acted version, so we can see how it’s all word-for-word repetition of real-life. Plus, of course, there’s the fate of John O’Neill, which comfortably fits under the heading “you couldn’t make it up.”
Next episode, I suspect, is going to be a bit traumatic.
Episode reviews: 1-3
SEAL Team (US: CBS; UK: Sky1)
1×18 – Credible Threat
Oh come on now! There’s another even bigger boss? Seriously? I know that the series got an extended episode order so they had to play for a time a little, but is this the fifth or sixth boss we’ve gone after now.
That aside, the usually competently done excitement and shoot-outs, albeit with a somewhat more clichéd “politicians don’t understand what’s it like for those with boots on the ground” attitude than is normal.
Timeless (US: NBC; UK: E4)
2×5 – The Kennedy Curse
An obvious episodic change to the formula as we don’t travel back in time and instead have time come back with us, but we’ve also got (spoiler alert) two new arrivals, Wyatt’s newly arrived wife and Goran Višnjić to alternate duties with, too. All of which the show handles quite well, while establishing some other possible configurations of the cast. But one returning feature of the first season that I liked was the idea that history in Timeless can be different to ours by the end of each episode. That and Lucy remembering she may (or may not) have a fiancé now.
The Americans (US: FX; UK: ITV4)
6×3 – Urban Transport Planning
Poor old Stan. Tries to escape the Great Game and it pulls him back in. And, of course, Philip discovers capitalism sucks, particularly for travel agents. Interesting to see that the initial indications this season would be Philip v Elizabeth haven’t played out much yet beyond ideological differences and the realisation that neither of them really knows what Russia is like anymore – or what Russians are like.
Black Lightning (US: The CW; UK: Netflix)
1×13 – Shadow of Death: The Book of War
A surprisingly inconclusive ending to the series that leaves most plot threads still hanging. Nevertheless, still satisfying as most of the important storylines get finished off or left in decent places.
All in all, despite a couple of rocky patches, the best first season of a DC superhero series since The Flash and by far the most adult and relevant of any current DC series. It also has one of the best family dynamics and possibly the best male lead of any. Definitely worth watching if you want to watch a DC superhero show that isn’t just plain old silly (DC’s Legends of Tomorrow).
The Good Fight (US: CBS All Access; UK: More4)
2×7 – Day 450
The most fascinatingly political episode so far, as the DNC decides to hire the firm (maybe) in order to work out the best way to impeach Donald Trump, giving everyone the chance to air grievances and make counterpoints. Meanwhile, Andrea Martin’s channelling both her Great News and her My Big Fat Greek Wedding roles as a political mother with a certain degree of Twitter-savvy.
Legion (US: FX; UK: Fox UK)
2×2 – Chapter 10 – 2×3 – Chapter 11
Two solidly surreal and bizarre episodes that are also visually stunning. They also introduce us to the Shadow King, played rather brilliantly by Navid Negahban (Homeland) – somehow, I don’t think Wonder Woman‘s Saïd Taghmaoui would have quite worked as well, but you never know. However, the plot does feel like it’s stalled slightly and even though it’s nice to have live-action text adventure games and teeth-chattering fugues, I’d prefer it if some things actually happened, you know?
Silicon Valley (US: HBO; UK: Sky Atlantic)
5×4 – Tech Evangelist
Quite a funny episode as the love that dare not speak its name in Silicon Valley is finally revealed: Christianity. The China angle is getting a bit dodgy and borderline xenophobic, mind.