What have you been watching? Including The Other Two

The Other Two

It’s “What have you been watching?”, your chance to recommend to fellow TMINE readers anything you’ve been watching this week

I haven’t reviewed any TV since last week. I blame Netflix, as well as my workload, which stopped me doing a third-episode verdict on The Passage. But at least I was able to launch shiny new movie review slot Orange Wednesday yesterday. But there has been one new show this week, The Other Two, which I’ll discuss after the jump.

Otherwise, it’ll just be the regulars: Black Monday, Cavendish, Corporate, Counterpart, The Magicians, Magnum P.I., The Orville, The PassageStar Trek: Discovery and True Detective. I might be giving up on at least one of those – can you guess which?

See you in a mo!

TV shows

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New shows

The Other Two

The Other Two (US: Comedy Central)

I get the feeling that there are a lot of aggrieved people out there in TV land who wish they were doing better in life than others. We’ve already had TV Land’s Nobodies, and now we have The Other Twoin which waiter and aspiring actor Drew Tarver and realtor Heléne Yorke have to deal with the fact their 13-year-old brother has suddenly became a famous singer, thanks to a YouTube video.

If you write it down, the idea of the “people who aren’t as interesting as a 13-year-old” being the star of the show is obviously a duff one and in practice, it’s even duffer. Indeed, the show’s few laughs and highlights actually come from said 13-year-old and people’s reactions to him, with breakfast TV hosts saying things like: “He’s sexy… and he’s just 13.” The lyrics of his songs are also pretty funny, too, and are great mockeries of tweens and tween music.

Trouble is, between those moments of fun, you have the gay Tarver having to deal with his homophobic-but-trying-to-be-open-minded restaurant boss (“I watched Brokeback Mountain last night. I didn’t like it but I thought you should know”), bad auditions (“Hi, I’m auditioning for Guy Who Smells Fart At Party”) and his supposedly straight flatmate prick-teasing him.

Yorke has even less to do, as she’s basically just sleeping on sofas and with air stewards. It’s weak stuff this.

You’ll probably be able to watch all the highlights on YouTube if you look hard enough, but actually watch the show? No.

Shows I’m watching but not necessarily recommending

Black Monday (US: Showtime; UK: Sky Atlantic)

1×2 – 364

It seems Black Monday used up all its mockery of the 80s in its first episode, as well as all its jokes, since we’re now onto mocking Wall Street trading during the 80s. Maybe if you’re a devotee of Billions you’ll be laughing your backside off at that, but it left me stone cold.

Basically, I’m out.

Episode reviews: Initial review

Cavendish (Canada: CBC)

1×4 – Carny Law

For once, the ‘supernatural’ side of things is less interesting than the rest of the episode. Instead, more yucks to be had from the two brothers’ quarrels and Kevin Eldon getting something good to do at last. Best of all, a bit of traditional Canadian self-mockery, this time of their own football league (“The CFL? Oh yes, I’d forgotten we had that.”)

Episode reviews: Initial review

The Orville (US: Fox; UK: Fox UK)

2×5 – All The World is Birthday Cake

Do you know, in all the sci-fi shows that I’ve ever seen, I’ve never seen one take on (spoiler alert) (spoiler alert) astrology before? I am surprised. The plotting’s a bit ropey and poorly executed, mind, but this isn’t the first time the The Orville has surprised me with some innovation and I’m now sure it might well do so again.

In terms of characters, a bit more of the chemistry of earlier episodes than we’ve had of late. We also have the arrival of Gossip Girl‘s Jessica Szohr as an almost identical character to the one we lost a couple of episodes ago. Can anyone say “behind the scenes ructions that took place during filming too late for us to rewrite the episodes so we just crossed one character’s name out and put this one’s in instead”?

Episode reviews: Initial review, Verdict

The Passage (US: Fox; UK: Fox UK)

1×3 – That Never Should Have Happened To You

So I’m not going to say I misjudged The Passage in my initial review, since what I said about it was certainly all true. It’s just that the first episode is a bit misleading and unrepresentative of the rest of the season. By the third episode, while the foundation remains the same, we’re now in a more interesting show altogether that’s all about psychic vampires plotting and scheming, and how humans can fight people who can enter their dreams.

On top of that, we’re getting exposed less and less to Mr Saved by the Bell and more and more to proper actors like Henry Ian Cusick, whose characters are also more nuanced and intriguing. There are no daft conspiracies any more, since everyone’s cards are on the table.

Of course, it could all change with the next episode, but as of episode three, I’m enjoying The Passage and I’m probably going to stick with it.

Episode reviews: Initial review

Recommended shows

Corporate (US: Comedy Central; UK: Comedy Central)

2×3 – Natural Beauty

Another superbly funny ep, this time looking at the idea of male makeup, as well as discrimination against women. Constant laughs and some original thinking, too, not just in terms of ideas but also in terms of marketing – it does feel like someone with marketing cleverness was actually involved in all of this.

Episode reviews: Initial review, Verdict

Counterpart (US: Starz; UK: StarzPlay)

2×7 – No Strings Attached

Obviously never going to be as good as last week’s episode, but with the two Howards unable to actually do anything, the action feels a bit restricted. Still, at least it pushes the plot along and develops the characters some more.

Episode reviews: Initial review, Verdict

The Magicians (US: Syfy; UK: Syfy)

4×1 – A Flock Of Lost Birds – 4×2 – Lost, Found, Fucked

All our heroes have had their memories taken away from them and made to think they’re someone else. It’s not the best way to start a season and two episodes in, while there’s plenty of comedy still to be had from the idea, it feels a bit worn out already – as does the “magic quota”. But it’s still a good watch.

Episode reviews: Initial review, Verdict

Magnum P.I. (US: CBS; UK: Sky1)

1×14 – I, The Deceased

Magnum gets hired by a client to investigate said client’s own death. An interesting start and a classic of the genre, but it all concludes a bit dully and nonsensically. The show also seems to have settled on a new format – Higgins and Magnum investigate cases together, while the others get up to mad japes somewhere else and maybe lend a hand at the end. It needs work as a format, but it’s coming along.

Episode reviews: Initial review, Verdict

Star Trek: Discovery (US: CBS All Access; UK: Netflix)

2×2 – New Eden

A reference to the original Star Trek episode The Way To Eden maybe, but not much else in common with that classic, as it’s mainly all about Prime Directive/Directive 1 stuff to do with non-interference. It’s also a chance to flesh out Christopher Pike’s character with some decidedly un-Star Trek comparative religion. Interesting, and a step up from last week’s ultra-convoluted affair, but still not totally engaging.

Episode reviews: Initial review

True Detective (US: HBO; UK: Sky Atlantic)

3×2 – Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye – 3×3 – The Big Never

Well, you did all warn me it was slow-going, but this is ridiculous. Nothing happened! Two whole episodes and nothing happened! Pfft. I’m sure there’s a plot in there somewhere, waiting to happen, and the acting and production are superb. But throw me a frickin’ bone here. I’m done. I need plot. I’m out.

Episode reviews: Initial review, Verdict

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