What have you been watching? Including Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger

Marvel's Cloak and Dagger
Marvel's Cloak and Dagger

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

Cinemax (US)'s Warrior
Cinemax (US)’s Warrior

This week’s reviews

It’s been another busy week for TV, but since the streaming services only served up Quicksand (Netflix) (yawn), there was no Boxset Monday this week. Sorry. However, TMINE did review the following fine – and not so fine – shows:

And for Orange Wednesday, I reviewed Donkeyote, John Wick – Chapter 2 and Justice League vs The Fatal Five.

It also meant that I had time to catch up with all the returning regulars, some shows I haven’t watched in a while, some new regulars and some movies.

The Code
CBS (US)’s The Code

New shows

There are some new shows just around the corner. However, I’m off on a jaunty little break from Thursday, so I don’t know how much time I’ll have to watch or review anything.

I’ll certainly have time to review The Code (US: CBS), though, and tomorrow’s Orange Wednesday will take in both Aquaman and Shazam!

Au service de la France (A Very Secret Service)
Arte (France)’s Au service de la France (A Very Secret Service)

The regulars

The Orville is still on holiday so join me after the jump for a look at the latest episodes of 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, Star Trek: Discovery, What We Do In the Shadows and Whiskey Cavalier. We also have the double-episode return of Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger to talk about. And I took in another episode of Au service de la France (A Very Secret Service), just because I could.

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)
3×4 – The One With Lucca Becoming A Meme

A slight hint of the show I grew to love this episode, as we get something approaching reality in a couple of places and some genuinely insightful arguments about subtlety in racial discrimination. We also get thankfully little of Michael Sheen, which isn’t a sentence I thought I’d ever have to write.

All the same, these were isolated islands in a show that seems to have lost its mojo a bit. I’m prepared to be patient, but I’m not sure how patient yet.

Episode reviewsInitial review, Verdict

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

One more episode and we’re still no closer to learning if there’s a genuine miracle or not, or what its effects will be. But there are flashes of oddness that are intriguing and are making we wonder if the show is now trying to be a comedy. The dodgy priest has let the cat out of the bag. Jesus might be a rapey French slave gang owner. And there’s a shining cube of fire that the Prime Minister doesn’t see too fussed about seeing.

My patience is being tested a little, but enough bizarre things are happening that I think I’ll stick it out to the end.

Episode reviews: Initial review

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

A slight change of pace this episode, as John Turturro investigates the library and does get a little philosophical. I can’t remember if there was ever a sub-plot in the book involving monks and the locals getting into fights with soldiers, but that killed the pace of the story stone dead in the middle, unfortunately.

Since I know the ending, I don’t know how obvious the means of death is, but it’s starting to feel like the game is being given away. But only those who’ve not read it will know for sure. All in all, though, still standing up very well.

Episode reviews: Initial review

What We Do In The Shadows (US: FX; UK: BBC Two)
1×2 – City Council

Confirmed this very hour to be airing on BBC Two, starting May 19, What We Do In the Shadows is already proving to be a real comedy gem. Turns out that what seemed like a throwaway line about the vampires taking over the US is to be the show’s main plot, but they’re starting small with the Staten Island council, which proved hilarious. No, really.

While Matt Berry proved the star of the show last week, Kayvan Novak and Natasia Demetriou really got a chance to shine this week, with Novak getting to be a bit edgier and Demetriou amping up the world’s first Greek-Cypriot TV vampire to the max. The script also mined some decent horror tropes to good effect, too. Another week of this and it’ll end up on the recommended list.

Episode reviews: Initial review

Whiskey Cavalier (US: ABC)
1×6 – Five Spies and a Baby

The first genuinely duff episode of the show retreads old ground, highlights the fact that filming in Central and Eastern Europe can end up with everything looking a bit shit. But the addition of a possible new recurring character does mean there’s more possible changes in dynamics in the show’s future.

Episode reviews: Initial review

Recommended shows

Au service de la France (A Very Secret Service) (France: Arte; UK: Netflix)
2×3 – When the water’s at 12º, expect it to be cold

As usual, another genuinely funny episode. I’m not sure about the series arc, which is proving a bit of a downer, but the episodic storylines are all gold. This week, we meet some Quebecois, who are planning on getting independence for the province and need some friendly advice from the French.

As usual, unless you’ve got a decent grasp of French, French history and French culture, this might be a bit opaque, which much of the comedy revolving around communication issues (“It’s amazing: they can understand everything we’re saying, but we can’t understand a word they say”), which isn’t really something that works through the subtitling, only through the extremely accented Quebecoise French being delivered. On top of that, there’s a scene at the end where the Canadians are trying to teach one of the French their dialect and the subtitler literally gives up and everything’s actually rendered in French/Quebecoise.

But it is hilarious, something you can tell from the fact it’s one of the first things YouTube prompts you for if you type in ‘au service de la france’.

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (US: The CW; UK: Sky1)
4×10 – The Getaway

Oh dear. I am starting to worry that Legends is going the way of Arrow et al and dedicating so much time to fan servicing relationships that it’s forgotten how to be funny. Some individually good moments but not exactly packed with decent action and I don’t know what they’re trying to do with John Constantine, but they need to stop.

I’m beginning to suspect this might be my last season with Legends. Oh well.

Episode reviews: Initial review, Verdict

Doom Patrol (US: DC Universe)
1×8 – Danny Patrol

The welcome arrival of gender-fluid Danny the Street certainly lifted the episode above average, but the show did feel like it was ‘saying the plot out loud‘ a bit at times. Yes, we get they’re misfits who don’t fit in. You don’t need to spell it out.

Diane Guerrero once again gets to show what a versatile actress she is, but Matt Bomer is also surprising, simply in how much he’s actually showing up in the series, not just doing voiceovers.

Episode reviews: Initial review

Admiral Whiskers arrives and Mr Nobody returns

Happy! (US: Syfy; UK: Netflix)
2×2 – Tallahassee

Phew. That was a relief. After this season’s unimpressive start, we’re back on again with something that restores the characters to more sensible norms, has some depth and generally both amuses and pulls at the heart strings. Thanks heavens Grant Morrison isn’t writing this every week.

Episode reviews: Initial, Verdict

The Magicians (US: Syfy; UK: Syfy)
4×11 – The 4-1-1

Some good notes to the episode, such as the return of Mayakovsky and nice Alice, as well as Matt Frewer as a helpful book (yes, really), can’t disguise the fact the character dynamics are all off. The show really needs everyone in the same place with their original personalities, talking to one another, to really survive to next year’s viewing queue.

Episode reviews: Initial review, Verdict

Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger (US: Freeform: UK: Amazon)
2×1 – Restless Energy – 2×2 – White Lines

One of Marvel’s more thoughtful superhero shows returns to raise questions about whether it’s easy to be a vigilante or not, even if you have super powers. It also amps up those superpowers and gives us a morally ambiguous new ‘villain’ to deal with, which to its credit it doesn’t try to be too clever with but just puts its cards down front and centre. The greater linking with voodoo is also an original touch.

But the shift in commentary away from race and class to sex takes away some of the show’s uniqueness and it so far hasn’t got anything novel to say on the subject. Sticking with it, though.

Episode reviews: Initial review

Star Trek: Discovery (US: CBS All Access; UK: Netflix)
2×12 – Through the Valley of Shadows

More Klingon tedium slowing the action down to a self-regarding snail’s pace. More nonsensical planning by Michael (you have a spore drive – you can go anywhere if you need to escape).

But fabulous Pike stuff from both Ansom Mount and the script, which ties the show into The Menagerie this time, not just The Cage. That was really quite eerie. Again, Star Trek: Year Zero or a Section 31 spin-off? No choice at all.

Episode reviews: Initial review


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.

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