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
‘Tis the lull before the Easter storm, as there’s a plethora of new and returning shows about to hit the world’s airwaves. Indeed, WHYBW is momentarily shifting to Wednesday and maybe to Tuesday next week to take account of the fact that not only is Wednesday now the busiest TV night of the week (incumbents: The Magicians, Whiskey Cavalier, The Good Fight), a load of shows are joining them tonight (Happy!, What We Do In The Shadows) , so I won’t have time to watch them all tomorrow. I do need to do some work.
This week, however, I was able to review:
Orange Wednesday is taking a break this week, too, since
- I haven’t watched any movies yet this week
- I can’t do both WHYBW and Orange Wednesday on a Wednesday
Fingers crossed for next week, though, assuming WHYBW moves to Tuesday, which it probably will.
After the jump, I’ll be looking at The Murders (Canada: CityTV; UK: Universal). Last week, I did mention Hulu’s The Act; however, I belatedly realise that’s not just an anthology show but a dramatised true crime anthology show, so that’s now off the menu.
Coming our way tonight is FX (US)’s What We Do In The Shadows and later on in the week there’s NBC (US)’s Abby’s, so I’ll definitely be reviewing them. But I suspect there’ll be more shows for me to look at than that.
Friday, for example, should be bringing us Netflix’s French sci-fi original Osmosis and despite last week’s claim to the contrary, Amazon’s Hanna will also be hitting our screens on Friday, so either one of those is likely to be next week’s Boxset Monday.
Since we’re a day early, I’ve not had time to watch any more episodes of Il Miracolo (The Miracle) and lovely wife hasn’t yet felt the urge to watch the latest Star Trek: Discovery, so they’ll both have to wait until next time.
But Magnum P.I. and The Orville are both back. Can you guess which episode of Star Trek they knocked off this week in The Orville? All will be revealed after the jump.
Joining them are Doom Patrol and The Good Fight. See you in a mo!
The Murders (Canada: CityTV; UK: Universal)
UK premiere date: Friday, April 12, 9pm
Jessica Lucas (Gotham) plays the cop daughter of both a lauded, now-deceased cop and a would-be city mayor. She’s just transferred to homicide, except on her first day in the job, her gun is stolen from her car. Worse still, it’s soon used in a murder. Will Lucas come clean or will she be able to cover up her failing and solve the crime with the help of her partner (Lochlyn Munro)?
Oddly, that question is seemingly answered by the end of the first episode, complete with a ‘five weeks later’ time jump to when things have settled down. There may be more to come, since the explanation isn’t wholly convincing, but it looks like the interesting moral quandary the show established isn’t going further than the first episode, judging by the trailer for the second episode.
What the first episode therefore does establish is the foundation for the rest of the show: who Lucas is, the tensions in her own department at her apparent political, rather than talent-based appointment, who the other characters are and what sort of crimes will be solved.
Despite being on CityTV, this is a Rogers Cable production so naturally a cut above the usual CityTV fare (cf Hudson & Rex). I enjoyed The Murders far more than I do most police procedurals, with some good drama and characterisation going on. However, if it’s going to be just a regular procedural from now on, I think I’m out.
Shows I’m watching but not necessarily recommending
The Orville (US/UK: Fox)
2×11 – Lasting Impressions
Ship’s crewmate falls in love with a Holodeck version of a real-life person? Ooh, ooh. Don’t tell me, don’t tell me. I know this one… Booby Trap. It was ST:TNG‘s Booby Trap.
And thus begins more or less every episode of The Orville: the now traditional “let’s work out which episode of Star Trek it’s ripped off” moment. To be fair, it was pretty well done, had Gossip Girl‘s Leighton Meester as the illusory object of desire, and said more about people in history, life’s rich tapestry and our ability to project onto others than Booby Trap did. There was even the now trademarked “let’s spell out the subtext and philosophical dilemmas of the plot for the benefit of Fox viewers” scene that had a few moderately complicated arguments.
Against that, though, the cigarette addiction b-plot was a bit lightweight, and really, if Seth Macfarlane’s ambition is to work with as many Star Trek cast members as possible, he could have given Tim Russ a lot more to do.
Moderately amusing, though, and even occasionally moving.
Doom Patrol (US: DC Universe)
1×6 – Doom Patrol Patrol
Despite being Alan Tudyk-lite again this week, Doom Patrol gets a promotion to the recommend list for being its usual oddball, incredibly sweary self.
This week: what happens to superheroes when they’re old and their values seem to be from another era. It’s a slightly confusing piece, since one of the things that show has played around with is that Timothy Dalton and his helper superheroes appear to be immortal, looking exactly the same and acting the same as when they were young in the 50/60s/80s/90s (delete as appropriate). Now we have an actual ageing process to deal with. So what gives?
The episode also gave us some old Doom Patrol characters from the 1960s and later to enjoy, with Numb3rs‘ Alimi Ballard showing up as Joshua Clay, for example.
Occasionally moving, usually amusing, I think Doom Patrol is one of those shows that’s never quite as great as it could be, and which is often funnier on paper than on-screen, but which nevertheless provides imagination and laughs that you’re not going to get elsewhere.
Episode reviews: Initial review
The Good Fight (US: CBS All Access; UK: More4)
3×2 – The One Inspired by Roy Cohn
Oh gods. I’d forgotten the terrible aikido. Make it stop. Please make it stop.
That aside, Michael Sheen’s arrived and he’s having a ball. Restraint? No need for that! He presents an interesting point about whether lawyers actually need to bother with the rules any more. It feels like a politically motivated point, as I imagine he’d last about five minutes before getting either thrown out for contempt by a judge or struck off in real life, but as a sideways glance at how the news media and politicians now favour entertainment over decorum and the truth, it does have some impact.
Otherwise, moderately entertaining, helped in part by the addition of ‘animated shorts’ to explain various points. They seem to be a weekly thing now.
Magnum P.I. (US: CBS; UK: Sky1)
1×18 – A Kiss Before Dying
Ooh, a flashback episode. This time, it’s how Higgins and Magnum first met, interspersed with them swimming around a lot after their yacht is hijacked, leaving TC and Rick to do the investigating this week.
The guest actors this week insulted the name of actors with every breath, so the less said about them the better. However, good performances from the two leads, an intermittently poignant and amusing script, a couple of good action scenes, and lashings of sexual tension meant it all added up to a really enjoyable episode. That and Perdita Weeks actually got to use the word ‘crap’ correctly on US TV.