It’s “What have you been watching?”, your chance to recommend to fellow TMINE readers anything you’ve been watching this week
This week’s reviews
It’s not been as busy a week as last week on TMINE, since I think some football has been on in America or something, but I have reviewed.
After the jump, we’ll be looking at YouTube Premium’s Wayne. But to be honest, I don’t know what new shows are scheduled for the next week or so, so it’s all going to be a bit of a surprise. I’m pretty sure Netflix has something lined up for tomorrow, at least, and I think The Other Two begins tonight on Comedy Central, so that’ll be showing up before next time, for sure.
Suddenly, there’s a lot to watch! Magnum P.I. decided to put out two episodes, while Counterpart returned and we have a new season of Star Trek: Discovery. On top of that, there’s Cavendish, Corporate and The Orville, as well as new kid on the block The Passage. All of them I’ll discuss after the jump.
However, 13 episodes of The Punisher was a lot to get through, so I’ve skipped True Detective this week; fingers crossed, I’ll be all caught up next week. Meanwhile, The Magicians returned last night, so I’ve not had a chance to watch that. That’ll be a next-weeker as well.
See you in a mo, though…
Wayne (YouTube Premium)
I had, if not high hopes for Wayne, moderate optimism it might be good. It’s on YouTube and it’s billed as coming from the writers of Deadpool, so I was expecting something a bit in the vein of Scott Pilgrim.
Unfortunately, it’s not – at least it doesn’t seem so from the looks of the first episode (it’s free to view and embedded below for your delights). Initially set in Boston with a series of variable Boston accents, it sees Mark McKenna playing a local working class oddball. Not so much a fighter, for the most part, he’s a bloke who can take a lot of punches and hit people with various blunt instruments.
When his dad dies, he decides to head off to Florida to regain the car his mum stole from them. Joining him is would-be girlfriend and cookie thief Ciara Bravo.
And that’s the plot of the first episode. If it gets better in Florida, let me know, since the Boston scenarios largely involve moderately comedic violence but little else. There’s supposed to be a sparky relationship between Bravo and McKenna, and the two have a chemistry, for sure, but it’s all glibness and teenage moodiness, rather than Press Gang, say.
It’s several notches above Deadly Class for outsider teen dramedy angst, but I suspect that unless you’re an angsty teenager, you’re not going to love this, and I’m certainly not paying for a YouTube Premium subscription just to watch the rest of it.
Shows I’m watching but not necessarily recommending
Cavendish (Canada: CBC)
1×3 – House of Wax
The most Canadian episode so far, with an entire episode based around a possibly haunted waxwork of a pirate mistaken for CBC children’s TV presenter of the 80s and 90s, Fred Penner, who even cameos towards the end. As usual, better when it’s being silly about matters supernatural than when it’s the family bickering, and the presence of The Actor Kevin Eldon is increasingly inexplicable, but definitely plenty of laughs to be had. Quite a few from Penner, in fact.
Episode reviews: Initial review
The Orville (US: Fox; UK: Fox UK)
2×4 – Nothing Left On Earth Excepting Fishes
Oh, lovely wife is so cross again with me this week. Not just about keeping The Orville from her for so long, but because this week, just as the episode started, I casually pointed out that one member of the cast had previously played a completely different character in the first season.
THAT WAS THE BIG REVEAL OF THE EPISODE, IF NOT THE SEASON.
Think Star Trek: Discovery and Clem Fandango, basically.
Oops. Otherwise, basically The Orville does Enemy Mine, with a few references to The King and I. I can’t help but feel, too, that the show has become slightly less interesting in the past couple of episodes, because there are fewer characters around and maybe more plot than there used to be, reducing the character moments. But reasonable enough fun.
The Passage (US: Fox; UK: Fox UK)
1×2 – You Owe Me A Unicorn
Surprisingly, a considerable improvement on episode one. A lot more thoughtful, some backstory for the better actors and characters, everything feels a little smarter, and it looks like the series format – man on run with kid to protect kid from the bad guys – is already finished and they’re moving on. Hmm. Best stick with this one.
Episode reviews: 1
Corporate (US: Comedy Central; UK: Comedy Central)
2×2 – The Concert
Despite having almost nothing to do with work, a genuinely hilarious episode about the joys of getting older and not bothering to go out in the evening after work. Some nice references back to the first season, too, for those paying attention.
Counterpart (US: Starz; UK: StarzPlay)
2×6 – Twin Cities
Despite lacking all the regular cast, possibly the best episode of not just the season but the series so far, as we flashback to see how the two universes were created, how they diverged, how management was created and so on. Basically, the show’s entire back story. Genuinely brilliant at times, including top-notch recreations of Berlin in 1980s to rival both Dark and Deutschland 83‘s efforts, right down to the restoration of the Berlin Wall. A superb performance by Turn‘s Samuel Roukin as the young James Cromwell, too.
The obvious big issue: too many Brits in the cast, so everyone spoke English, even the German characters when they’re alone with other German characters. Even the writing was in English. It’s one of those things that you wouldn’t notice if it weren’t for the fact that most of the regular characters speak German with subtitles, so there’s a certain “Was ist daß?” to a sudden switch in the rules. A shame, but nothing insurmountable, for sure.
Magnum P.I. (US: CBS; UK: Sky1)
A comedic one, followed by a spy one, as Magnum goes off bounty hunting and then Higgins goes off traitor hunting.
1×12 – Winner Takes All
Ken Jeong’s return was very welcome, and the arrival of The Orville‘s Halston Sage was surprising, but it was a little too flimsy to be really enjoyable, despite the vesper riding. The TC and Rick sub-plot was mildly irritating, too.
1×13 – Day of the Viper
Lots of MI6 backstory for Higgins, thanks to the again surprising arrival of superspy <checks notes>Safe‘s Nigel Lindsay</checks notes>. Hmm. A bit too daft in places, but it’s again made me wonder why I’ve never see Perdita Weeks in much before now, since she is very good.
Star Trek: Discovery (US: CBS All Access; UK: Netflix)
2×1 – Brother
As with the first ever episode, a bit of a messy one this one, that tries to throw too much into the melting point in one go and ends up ruining everything. Very welcome is the arrival of Anson Mount as Christopher Pike, but the script wasn’t quite up to the job for him – I know it’s Star Trek: Discovery, but you’d think Kirk’s predecessor and Star Trek‘s original central character would get to be as heroic as Kirk. Similarly, I wanted to see a bit more of the Enterprise, but no, more Discovery, so not really an opening up of the story at all. Coupled with an attempt to make everything a bit more comedic and some pretty ropey dialogue (“No, all three!”), this all felt like a misstep and misuse of some good ingredients.
But, it took a while for the show to settle down in the first season, too, and there plenty of neat touches, so I’m not exactly writing it off just yet.
Episode reviews: Initial review