What have you been watching? Including Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones - Season 8

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

CBS (US)'s The Code
CBS (US)’s The Code

This week’s reviews

TMINE took a few well-deserved days off at the end of last week, which means its usual prodigious output was a little more subdued than usual. But elsewhere, you can find a review of CBS (US)’s The Code, while last week’s Orange Wednesday took in Shazam! and Aquaman.

The Bad Seed

New shows

TVNZ premiered The Bad Seed at the weekend, so I’ll be trying to review that this week, as well as ABC’s Bless This Mess. Otherwise, with Easter holidays coming up, it’s liable to be another quiet one. Sorry!

Fox (US)'s The Orville
Fox (US)’s The Orville

The regulars

I’ll be trying to do a third-episode verdict on The Twilight Zone this week, so I’ll hold off on reviewing that for now. Meanwhile, The Orville‘s back off its holidays, so after the jump, I’ll be looking at that, as well as all the other regulars: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Doom Patrol, The Good Fight, Happy!, Il Miracolo (The Miracle), Il Nome della Rosa (The Name of the Rose), The Magicians, Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger, Star Trek: Discovery, Warrior, What We Do In the Shadows and Whiskey Cavalier.

Shockingly, one of those is for the chop. But which?

And oh yes, another show made its return this week. You might not have noticed. I don’t think anyone’s mentioned it. What was it?

Oh yes. That was it. Game of Thrones.

See you in a mo!

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

The Good Fight (US: CBS All Access; UK: More4)
3×5 – The One Where A Nazi Gets Punched

A reprieve from the discard pile from The Good Fight, as the episode finds relevancy and actually does something interesting legally. Jon Glover also shows up and the comedic moments turn out to be funny for a change. Nice jaunty little piece to camera at the end, too.

Still, there’s Michael Sheen… doing something.

Episode reviewsInitial review, Verdict

Il Miracolo (The Miracle) (Italy/UK: Sky Atlantic)
1×7

More and more comedic this. I’m not sure why. I’m not sure why we’re seven episodes in and the Virgin Mary is still confined to a swimming pool and everyone’s wondering if there’s a miracle or not and what it all means.

I’m also unsure why Sky have only given us a couple more days to watch the series. I’ll get onto episode 8 tout suite.

Episode reviews: Initial review

Il Nome della Rosa (Italy: Rai 1; UK: BBC)
1×3

Oh dear. I did wonder if they were going to mix things up a bit and add material and the short answer is: yes. Yes, they are.

Here, we have Rupert Everett hamming it up for all he’s worth, dealing with witches and vengeful witches’ daughter in full Hunger Games mode and it’s absolute nonsense. Then we switch back to Eco’s work and it’s sublime again. I’d have happily lost a few episodes from this to have avoided the unnecessary attempts to inject action into the proceedings. Guys – have confidence in your source material and the audience.

Episode reviews: Initial review

The Orville (US/UK: Fox)
2×12 – Sanctuary

A reasonably strong, if not especially concealed take on US-Saudi Arabian relationships and religious tolerance, as the Federation (or whatever they’re called) have to work out whether to allow the not-Klingons to discriminate against ladies, if it means they can get a hand on their weapons. Quite a subtle diplomatic conclusion, though, to be fair.

Episode reviews: Initial review, Verdict

Warrior (US: Cinemax; UK: Sky1)
1×2 –There’s No China In The Bible

Kudos to the show balls out calling its Irish tavern ‘The Banshee’. Still, this week was less Banshee than the first episode, even if it’s already deploying secondary characters into similar roles as those on its predecessor. The show is already settling on a formula, too: a bit of top fighting, a bit of sexy time and a whole lot of history. The ‘Joe Chinaman’ thing was interesting, as was our hero discovering that kung fu’s not that much use if the whole town is against you.

I’m also enjoying the fact the “language whirl” of the first episode wasn’t just a one-off and the fact that the show is so clearly positioning the Asians ultra-modern American diction to stake out an agenda.

Episode reviews: Initial review

Whiskey Cavalier (US: ABC)
1×7 – Spain, Train and Automobiles

Two strikes now for Whiskey Cavalier, with a second rather dull episode in a row. Too much Scott Foley backstory and too little (if any) filming in Spain, as well as minimal jokes. Last chance next week, guys.

Episode reviews: Initial review

Recommended shows

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (US: The CW; UK: Sky1)
4×11 – Séance and Sensibility

And I’m done. Legends of Tomorrow just hasn’t been the same this season, despite the definite improvement of having Matt Ryan’s John Constantine on board. But since its return, the show has basically been “trite teenage romances in space”.

Unfortunately, this week’s episode was even worse than previous weeks’. Some kudos for trying to outdo Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and having an actual piece to camera and some Bollywood singing, as well. But it’s just dull to watch now. The latest addition to the cast is a definite disaster and the relegation of Dominic Purcell to a bit part is a bad move.

The show did at least rescue itself from the calamity of the first season by finding the fun and a marvellous degree of meta-ness. Now, though, it’s just stupid. Nothing wrong with sci-fi/superhero comedy either, but this is just stupid.

So I’m done. Three strikes and I’m out, as the new TMINE rule goes and this was the third poor episode in a row. Oh well – it was fine while it lasted.

Oddly, though, that was the last of The CW’s Arrowverse shows that I was still watching. Dropping it feels like the end of an era somehow. I’m not sure I’m too upset, though. Who knows, though – I might well be back for the crossover event at the end of the year, and Batwoman is almost certainly going to be worth a try, if a full series gets the go-ahead. So it’s not quite the end, I suspect.

Episode reviews: Initial review, Verdict

Doom Patrol (US: DC Universe)
1×9 – Jane Patrol

A little less sparky than previous episodes, but the voyage into Jane’s subconscious is full of great moments, as well as far more Brendan Fraser than normal. Also, quite a strong and unexpectedly feminist message with regards to Fraser’s nadgers.

Episode reviews: Initial review

Admiral Whiskers arrives and Mr Nobody returns

Game of Thrones (US: HBO; UK: Sky Atlantic)
8×1 – Winterfell

A strong season opener, albeit mainly for its copious reunions, character development and revelations than for any real plot advancement. It’s been two years since the previous episode, so lots of “oh, yes, I remember now” moments, as well as “when was the last time those two met then?” and “No, of course, they wouldn’t know that, would they?” moments.

Promisingly, the episode also suggests that not everything is going to work out the way we think it will. The good guys may not be the good guys, the bad guys may not be the bad guys, and everyone could end up dead. Whatever happens, I doubt I’ll be dropping this before the end.

Episode reviewsSeason one

Happy! (US: Syfy; UK: Netflix)
2×3 – Some Girls Need A Lot of Repenting

A hybrid of styles that married the somewhat dull Grant Morrison approach of the first episode with the aspects of the first season that made it so much deeper. We got some new imaginary friends to play with, too. But the season arc needs kicking into life as soon as possible, because the show doesn’t quite have the zing it needs at the moment.

Episode reviews: Initial, Verdict

The Magicians (US: Syfy; UK: Syfy)
4×12 – The Secret Sea

An episode that felt a bit more season one-ish than some and which suggests that the series is heading in the right general direction at last, reuniting the characters and making them more like their normal selves. Everything with the Secret Sea was a lot of fun, too. But unless the final episode is a doozy, I think I might be done with The Magicians at the end of this season, now it’s run out of source material and can’t seem to put anything suitably edifying in its place.

Episode reviews: Initial review, Verdict

Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger (US: Freeform: UK: Amazon)
2×3 – Shadow Selves

A somewhat convoluted flashback episode to explain how we’re in the Star Trek transporter accident territory we’re currently in largely fails to excite. But the final ten minutes or so thankfully move things on past the obvious. Still, we’re three episodes in and I’m less than excited by the new set-up, so I think if we’re not much improved by episode five, I might be dropping this, since it’s not really come up with a season arc that interests me yet.

Episode reviews: Initial review

Star Trek: Discovery (US: CBS All Access; UK: Netflix)
2×13 – Such Sweet Sorrow

A 20-minute slack period in the middle as everyone says goodbye to everyone in the world’s most prolonged departure scene still can’t detract from the overall awesomeness of finally moving the action on board the USS Enterprise. Be still my beating nerdy heart, for it was a beautiful moment indeed, a lovely mixing of old and new. If we could keep this crew and ditch the Discovery crew, that would be really cool.

Michelle Yeoh’s proving more interesting over time as a suitably cynical damper on the more tedious mawkishness of the show, too.

Episode reviews: Initial review

What We Do In The Shadows (US: FX; UK: BBC Two)
1×3 – Werewolf Feud

A reasonably speedy promotion to the recommended list for What We Do In the Shadows, despite this episode not being quite as funny as the preceding two. Here, the show revives the movie’s werewolf feud, but does something different and more American with it, including rip the piss out of Twilight. Some very funny moments from the ‘fight scene’ in particular. Definitely worth a watch.

Episode reviews: Initial review

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