What have you been watching? Including Legion

TMINE's round-up of this week's TV

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

Dark
Netflix’s Dark

This week’s reviews

It’s been another successful week at TMINE in terms of a high “promises made versus shows reviewed” ratio. This week’s Boxset Monday was the second season of Netflix’s Dark and I also had a look at US-French summer nonsense Reef Break yesterday.

Meanwhile, Orange Thursday gave us Men in Black: International (2019) and Tokyo Story (1953).

So well done me.

The Rook
Starz’s The Rook

What’s coming this week

Tomorrow’s Orange Thursday will almost certainly feature The Lego Movie 2, although we’re only halfway through that. What the second movie will be is anyone’s guess, though. We’ll see what we see, hey?

Premiering on Sunday is Starz (US)’s The Rook and there’s a whole bunch of foreign-language Netflix shows to pick from on Friday, so I’m sure I’ll cover one of those. Or that Amazon show that came out a couple of weeks ago.

Legion

The regulars

The ranks of the regulars are swelling again. As usual, after the jump, we’ll have Harrow, The InBetween, Krypton, Perpetual Grace LTD, and Swamp Thing. But joining them in their second outings are City on a Hill, Jett and Los Espookys. Meanwhile, Legion has returning for a third season – and don’t be surprised when I tell you it’s far out, man.

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 in the past 13 years.

Shows I’m watching but not necessarily recommending

City on a Hill (US: Showtime)

1×2 – What They Saw In Southie High

Not quite as impressive as the first episode, the second episode spends a bit too much time establishing family relationships and personal ambitions, not enough time actually advancing the plot. However, when it focuses on the criminality of the central case and the general politics, it’s as excellent as always, with a real air of authenticity, particularly concerning the early 90s details.

Jonathan Topper turns out to be a far better actor than I’ve ever given him credit for, too, and I’m particularly enjoying the subtle Boston accents on display. I don’t know what Kevin Bacon is doing on that front, mind.

This is also the first episode to feature one of the more prominent members of The Wire, with Seth Gilliam putting his Walking Dead experience as a preacher to good use, too.

Episode reviews: Initial

Harrow (Australia: ABC; UK: Alibi)

2×7 – Parce Sepulto

Bit of a sub-standard ep in terms of the mystery, as even I could solve it within about 10 minutes and I’m useless. Unfortunately, the mystery dominated proceedings, leaving little room for flirting et al, and even our Ioan’s performance seemed a bit hammy as he tried to inject excitement into proceedings.

On the plus side, the Fairley-Harrow relationship was once again a bright spot and I did enjoy Harrow’s interplay with his former mentor. Plus the ending does suggest some interesting action to come.

Episode reviews: Initial

Jett (US: Cinemax)

1×2 – Charles Junior

So, I’m not loving this as much as other people are. Maybe they just love the epic Skinemaxiness of this episode, which made me glad no one could look over my shoulder when I was watching it. The second half was also distinctly better than the first half, as we got to see what a natural born thief Jett is in a very well orchestrated job.

But the literate dialogue and the surprising characterisations of the first episode seemed largely to be MIA, leaving the whole thing feeling a lot like style triumphing over content.

Episode reviews: Initial

Los Espookys (US: HBO)

1×2 – El Espanto De La Herencia

A far less entertaining and innovative affair than the first episode, albeit with a few bright sparks of imagination and wit to raise the titter count to an acceptable level. All the same, I think I’m going to bail on this one, since although everyone is très génial, a bunch of mates who fake live action horror moments doesn’t really float my boat.

Episode reviews: Initial

The InBetween (US: NBC; UK: Universal)

2×3 – Where the Shadows Fall

As per the second episode, a surprisingly horror-packed episode for a summer NBC show, as our heroine goes to the hospital and discovers a rather a large surfeit of scary dead people covered in blood. However, the police are daft as brushes since even I spotted that a (spoiler alert) angel of mercy was at work. But then maybe I’m just getting good at this.

Kudos, mind, to Paul Blackthorne’s top Englishman-in-Seattle work for dismissing American tea as “weak piss”.

Episode reviews: Initial

Krypton (US: Syfy; UK: E4)

2×2 – Ghost in the Fire

So I know I said Lobo was tonally out of kilter with Krypton, but this episode, he seemed to work a lot better, and I was reminded that the first few episodes of the first season had a nice Inbetweeners vibe that this episode recaptured.

Still, everyone was daft for not realising what had happened to Brainiac and gods, everything soapy back on Krypton is tedious.

Episode reviews: Initial

Swamp Thing (US: DC Universe)

1×4 – Darkness on the Edge of Town

Another slightly snorey episode in which not much happened, although we did get a hint of the sort of personality this version of Swamp Thing has. The show’s biggest problem so far seems to be it wants to leap straight into Swap Thing as Elemental territory before it’s really earned it, something that’s also true of the Abby/Alec relationship. As a result, there are some big leaps in narrative and emotions that don’t really add up.

I’m sure it’ll be worth it in a few episodes’ time, but at the moment, it’s all a bit jarring.

Episode reviews: Initial

The recommended list

Legion (US: FX; UK: Fox UK)

3×1 – Chapter 20

Do I need to say that the first episode of this season is a visually mind-blowing extravaganza? No, of course I don’t, since it’s the show’s single defining feature, with its combination of surrealism, 70s stylings and even borrowings from musicals. In fact, it would be more notable if it weren’t a real piece of visual genius.

What is notable is that as well as giving us plenty of backstory to get old hands and new arrivals up to speed, it also gives us entire new visual metaphors and ideas to deal with and – most important of all – plot. Actual plot. Things happened… and quickly! That’s remarkable.

Of course, said plot could be condensed into “David acquires a time traveller who joins his cult and helps him not get killed”, but Legion manages to turn that into a fast-paced episode that also features some beautiful new ways of visualising time travel.

Funny and intellectually interesting. Full of lots of superhero fights (because yes, in case you’d forgotten, this is an X-Men show). Can it last? Or are we going to get an entire season of dilly dallying as usual?

Episode reviews: Initial; verdict

Perpetual Grace LTD (US: Epix)

1×4 – Felipe G Usted. Almost First Mexican On The Moon. Part 2

The first slightly disappointing episode so far, since the usual trademark humour was largely absent, replaced by a general sadness about lost opportunities and life itself. However, the arrival of Timothy Spall’s character was much welcome, even if it’s clear HM Passport Office in Leeds could do with a touch of computerisation.

Episode reviews: Initial

Advertisements