What have you been watching? Including Corporate and The Passage

The Passage

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 been a busy week for TV, both online and in broadcast. Elsewhere, I’ve reviewed:

Meanwhile, for this week’s Orange Wednesday film reviews, I reviewed Captain Marvel (2019) and Mile 22 (2018).

The Order

New shows

That was just the tip of the iceberg, mind. Netflix gave us two other new original series, The Order and Shadow, plus possibly some other things I missed. Meanwhile, over on Amazon, there was Made in Heaven. Hulu’s also got Remy and Shrill on the way, but I imagine, there’ll be more shows, too. I’ll try to review all I come across.

Corporate

The regulars

I didn’t manage to watch any more of Il Miracolo this week, but I have every intention of doing so at some point. Meanwhile, after the jump, we’ll be talking about the latest episodes of Doom Patrol, The Enemy Within, The Magicians, Magnum P.I., The Orville, Star Trek: Discovery and Whiskey Cavalier, as well as the double-episode season finales of Corporate and The Passage. One of them will be waving goodbye to the TMINE viewing queue – but which?

TV shows

TMINE recommends has all the TV shows TMINE has ever recommended and TV Reviews A-Z lists every TV show ever reviewed

Shows I’m watching but not necessarily recommending

Doom Patrol (US: DC Universe)

1×4 – Cult Patrol

That was a bit bewildering. And not just because it’s a two-parter. So first, the Mark Sheppard Full Employment Act is still in force apparently, because guess who just showed up! Yes, it was Mark Sheppard! Anyway, we’re about two minutes into his performance as a hard-drinking, hard-smoking English magician, before the penny drops that he’s supposed to be John Constantine. Just with a different name. What? Could they not get Matt Ryan, you think to yourself? Even though it’s DC again? Or is there a rights issue with the character, given he’s on The CW right now?

Turns out there was a John Constantine rights issue… 30 years ago. Grant Morrison couldn’t get the rights when he was doing Doom Patrol so he created a Constantine surrogate and that’s who Sheppard is playing. How bizarre.

As for the plot, still needs a bit more of that Morrison Dadaism, but generally more interesting for the magic and plenty of laughs as always from Brendan Fraser.

Episode reviews: Initial review

The Enemy Within (US: NBC)

1×3 – The Ambassadors Wife

And we’re done. I got about 10 minutes through the now-standard formula before I gave up. Firstly, I’m not sure that Jennifer Carpenter being able to read quickly and have great eyesight is a special skill. Secondly, why she thinks telling her captors what she’s just seen by reading quickly is a good plan, I have no idea. Lastly, copying The Man From UNCLE‘s idea of getting random guest actors to play civilians playing at spy games is not a great idea.

Anyway, since we’re now three weeks in with nothing yet remarkable happening, I’m out.

Episode reviews: Initial review

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

2×10 – The Blood of Patriots

One of those “we all have to forgive and forget if we’re to live in peace – yes, we do, not just them” episodes. Otherwise, merely an episode to give Gordon something to do except be comedy relief.

Episode reviews: Initial review, Verdict

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

1×9 – Stay in the Light – 1×10 – Last Lesson

Two episodes essentially designed to prove me wrong. I predicted the vampires wouldn’t get very far by the end of the season – I was very wrong. I also predicted there’d be no  flashforwards to a vampire dystopia. Wrong again. Oh well, that does happen from time to time.

The first episode was the lesser of the two, but the second was the one that really pushed things along and changed the show into something far weirder and less conventional.

Looking back, this was quite an elongated season that was mostly about fleshing out the characters who are going to be important (and reassuringly immortal) in the dark years to come, which includes a few unexpected additions and omissions. There have been surprisingly poignant moments and unexpected twists. Oddly, it’s biggest weakness has been its Saved by the Bell lead, who may or may not be back next season.

Would I recommend the season for those who haven’t started watching it? I’d say watch the first three episodes, episode five and the last three, if you just want the best ones but there’s probably a little something important in all of them.

And will I be back for next season, if there is one? I’ll certainly give it a go, since The Passage has shown that even if it’s not great TV, it is willing to do unconventional things.

Episode reviews: Initial review

Whiskey Cavalier (US: ABC)

1×3 – When In Rome

The return of series creator David Hemingson to the show after last week’s not-great episode proved a boon this week, as our heroes and heroines continue their European jaunt, heading off to both London and Rome this time. The action is as usual a bit silly, but the characters gel well, the characters who aren’t played by Scott Foley get a lot more background and plot-servicing, and it’s at times pretty funny. It’s still bubblegum TV, but it’s enjoyable bubblegum TV.

When, by the way, did Tate Modern become such a centre for overseas film crews?

Episode reviews: Initial review

Recommended shows

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

2×9 – Vacation – 2×10 – The Fall

A two-part finale, although the episodes were completely unrelated. The first takes a skewer to vacations, particularly vacations that co-workers recommend. The second is a far more eventual piece about the fall of Hampton DeVille. Or is it? The former was reasonably funny, albeit largely thanks to the talking plants and a guest Australian. The latter was more bleak and cynical than funny, but still plenty to enjoyable, particularly the pastiching of Matt’s numerous ambitions.

Overall, a great second season that in many ways was better than the first, even if more of the episodes had nothing to do with work, more the human condition. Roll on season 3!

Episode reviews: Initial review, Verdict

The Magicians (US: Syfy; UK: Syfy)

4×8 – Home Improvement

A humorous dragon, Felicia Day and plenty of Alice. Not bad. Reasonable number of laughs, too. But still not feeling it in quite the same way as I did.

Episode reviews: Initial review, Verdict

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

1×18 – A Kiss Before Dying

A Katsumoto-centric episode. Despite that, not bad.

Episode reviews: Initial review, Verdict

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

2×8 – If Memory Serves

And after a nice “Previously on Star Trek… no, not Star Trek: DiscoveryStar Trek“, we head off to Talos IV! Woo hoo! And I realise this is all set after The Cage but before The Menagerie. That’s interesting. What’s even more interesting, apart from how they’ve basically updated everything while staying as consistent as possible, is that they got Melissa Gilbert to play Vina. That’s quite a big hire for a relatively small role. Remember, of course, we now have Ethan Peck as Spock as well as Rebecca Romijn playing Number 1. That’s a decent line-up for some quite small appearances. I wonder – could we be seeing the creation of another Star Trek spin-off set on board the Pike Enterprise before Kirk takes over?

Now that I’d watch.

Otherwise, there was a definite feeling of relief for me that we’ve caught up with Spock now and that he’s lucid. Let’s start having some proper plotting now.

Episode reviews: Initial review

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