It’s “What have you been watching?”, your chance to recommend to fellow TMINE readers anything you’ve been watching this week
Despite Thanksgiving being just round the corner in the US – or maybe even because it’s nearly here – the airwaves and Internet had a bit more new to offer than last week. Elsewhere, I’ve reviewed YouTube Premium’s Origin and Netflix’s The Kominsky Method and Narcos: Mexico, but there have been a few other things. I don’t really bother with mini-series, but in case you do, HBO’s My Brilliant Friend and Showtime’s Escape at Dannemora both turned up this week.
I’m still trying to watch Amazon’s Beat, but let’s just say that after an exciting title sequence, not only does the plot get a bit silly, everything’s a bit X-rated and commute-unfriendly, so I’ve not managed to get more than 10 minutes in. But I have managed to watch some Australian TV, too, so I’ll be looking at The Fighting Season and How To Stay Married after the jump.
Also after the jump are the new regulars: Black Lightning, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Doctor Who, Happy Together, Magnum P.I. and Titans. See you in a mo…
Fighting Season (Australia: Showcase)
Not to be confused with US Afghanistan war documentary The Fighting Season, this drama nevertheless focuses on very similar themes, as it follows a bunch of Australian soldiers returning from Afghanistan after an incident that saw one of their number killed. Medals are duly handled out for bravery, but are they keeping a secret? And can they adjust to civilian life, even briefly, after everything they’ve seen?
There have been so many variations of this in other dramas, you’d think The Fighting Season would try to do something different. It doesn’t, other than feature Australian soldiers.
About the only other real thing of note is that one of the soldiers is played by New Zealand rugby player Marco Alosio, which confused the hell out of me. I mean I guess New Zealanders – or even Australians with really obvious Wellington accents – can probably join the Australian army but it’s confusing in a TV show. That’s my issue, though, I suspect and you might find it less distracting.
How To Stay Married (Australia: Ten)
Spin-off from ABC’s anthology series, It’s A Date, that sees Peter Helliar and Lisa McCune playing a long-married couple trying to spice up their lives. At least, that’s what the blurb says. Alternative blurb says the show “explores the ups and downs of married life”.
However, the first episode can best be summarised as stay-at-home mum decides to return to work. So she returns to work. Meanwhile, working dad… continues working.
Not in the slightest.
Shows I’m watching but not necessarily recommending
Black Lightning (US: The CW; UK: Netflix)
2×6 – The Book Of Blood: Chapter Two – The Perdi
Told you he wasn’t dead. Otherwise, a bit dull and frankly for a show called Black Lightning, there’s not very much Black Lightning. Plus the shiny thing did turn out to be quite silly. Back on the edge of cancellation from the viewing queue…
Doctor Who (UK: BBC One)
11×7 – Kerblam!
Again, another not-Chibnall, again another “not half bad effort”. Sure, you can probably rattle off half a dozen classic series stories just like it, but as a sort of Sunmakers meets The Happiness Patrol, it wasn’t half bad. More interestingly, it was a first for Doctor Who: a story involving a big company that wasn’t evil and actually had its workers’ welfare at heart. Now that was a surprise twist.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (US: The CW; UK: Sky1)
4×5 – Tagumo Attacks!!!
A very, very silly tribute to Toho films that also allowed every character who wasn’t John Constantine a moment or two in the sun. We also got the first obvious head nod to the fact that we have Biff from Back to the Future playing one of the main roles. To my mind, it was just a little bit too silly, but if you can cope with a three-breasted warrior woman fighting a giant octopus in a cardboard model city, it’ll probably be right up your street.
Happy Together (US: CBS; UK: E4)
1×8 – Til Death Do We Party
A relatively bog standard sitcom script which both the cast and the writers nevertheless manage to inject with some nuance. I’m not sure the episodes focusing on the parents in their second childhood work as well as those focused on the leads, but I guess it adds variety.
Magnum P.I. (US: CBS)
1×9 – The Ties That Bind
Slightly more mundane affair than normal, but otherwise chugging along nicely on all four cylinders, with some good backstory references to our team’s time in the military. Obviously the writers hadn’t done an awful lot of research, but somehow managing to find the only writers and production crew in the US who’ve never been to even single yoga class is a minor miracle and if you do print a gun using a 3D printer, you’re still going to need a metal firing pin.
Hope that helps.
Titans (US: DC Universe; UK: Netflix)
1×6 – Jason Todd
A little bit of a standalone episode again, as Dick goes off with his successor as Robin, Jason Todd, to solve some murders linked to the deaths of his parents. Todd is as much of a dick as he is in the comics, and amusingly, DC Universe is actually running a poll as to whether he should be killed off, just as DC did in the 80s for the comics. But despite there not being much for the rest of the cast to do, it’s a generally pretty interesting affair, with some top notch, brutal fight scenes, that shows off the personalities of the individual Robins.
Personal request: I would like to see a moratorium on scenes in which people cut things out of themselves (eg bullets, tracking devices). This is not only extremely icky to watch, it’s an insane idea that’s liable to lead to lasting damage if anyone tries it at home. I’m really surprised people don’t haemorrhage to death…