What have you been watching? Including The Twilight Zone

Jordan Peele in The Twilight Zone
Jordan Peele in The Twilight Zone

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

Ben Kingsley and Jacki Weaver
Ben Kingsley and Jacki Weaver in Epix’s Perpetual Grace Ltd

This week’s reviews

It’s been a busy old week for TMINE. Looks like the summer season is really kicking off, doesn’t it? Elsewhere, I’ve reviewed:

Elsewhere, I’ve reviewed:

And this week’s Orange Thursday featured John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019) and The Favourite (2018). Not bad, hey?

Always Be My Maybe
Randall Park and Ali Wong in Always Be My Maybe

What’s coming this week

…but also not great. Those with long enough memories will recall that I said last week that “Good Omens is available on Amazon from Friday, so we’ll definitely be catching that for Boxset Monday”. Except it wasn’t. So much for definitely, hey?

To be fair, we’ve watched five out of six episodes, so it’s just a case of finding the time to watch the sixth episode in between the latest episodes of Masterchef Australia and Love Island. It’ll happen, hopefully tonight or tomorrow, but before the weekend, anyway. Just not this Monday – my time machine’s broken.

Also coming your way – at some point, he says, avoiding any definite statements – are American Princess (US: Lifetime) and at least one episode but maybe all of NOS4A2 (US/UK: AMC). And Orange Thursday will definitely include Always Be My Maybe (2019) at the very least.

I’ve still not watched Catch-22 or What/If. Soz. But maybe this weekend, hey?

Jordan Peele in The Twilight Zone
Jordan Peele in The Twilight Zone

The regulars

The regulars list continues to dwindle. After the jump, I’ll be looking at Harrow, Mr Black, and the penultimate episode this season of Warrior, for sure. I’ll also be covering the final two episodes of The Hot Zone, as well as the season finales (Ed: What? Already?) of The Twilight Zone and What We Do In the Shadows. And I did a rapid trawl through the remainder of The Society. But that’s your lot – summer, hey?

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

Harrow (Australia: ABC; UK: Alibi)

2×4 – Aegri Somnia

A sequel of sorts to last season’s Queensland episode, but with a hint of the James Bond as our Ioan wears a tuxedo. The chemistry between him and Jolene Anderson seems to be working, and it’s nice that both Ella Newton and Remy Hii are getting more to do. The evil bad guy storyline does at least get a boost at the end of the episode, and it’ll be interesting to see if what’s hinted at in the trailer for next week actually comes to pass.

It could still do with a little more oomph in the darkness stakes, but a pleasing enough way to pass an hour.

Episode reviews: Initial

The Hot Zone (US: National Geographic)

1×5 – Quarantine – 1×6Hidden

The final two episodes continue more or less as the first four, being a combination of lurid exaggeration, reasonably realistic relating of an historic event and soapy character drama. All in all, not bad and I’d probably rewatch it quite happily.

More interestingly, though, is how much the overall structure and themes of the story echo those of The Andromeda Strain. The various levels of the Wildfire facility are just sci-fi extrapolations of Biosafety procedures (albeit ones rendered meaningless by other extrapolations) and for all we may have mocked the book and movie’s conclusion, it’s more or less the conclusion to the real-life events depicted in The Hot Zone. Who said Michael Crichton didn’t know what he was talking about?

Episode reviews: 1-2, 3-4

Mr Black (Australia: Ten)

1×5

A reasonably sitcomish episode that somehow also managed to drag David Cameron and Nigel Farage into it. The journo side of things is surprisingly accurate again and the new tread of the daughter actually getting something to do in the episodes is working out well. The laugh count was a little low this episode, but a few of the jibes landed well.

Episode reviews: Initial review

The Society (Netflix)

1×4-1×10

So after watching episode three and nearly falling asleep, I decided to give episode four a try… and nearly fell asleep, even though it was dealing with another murder and the revelation there’s a secret psychopath among the society’s number. So much dullness.

I could have just abandoned it there, but given it had at least had an interesting premise, I decided to read the episode summaries and watch the final episode to see if anything exciting happens or any of the questions get answered.

Oh my gods, they don’t. The end of final episode is simply a cut-away that reveals (spoiler alert) their parents are currently mourning the disappearance of their children . Yep, nothing at all has advanced since episode two.

So, in summary, if basically all you wanted to watch was a bunch of tedious teenagers trying to live without adult supervision for a year and a half, The Society is the show for you. Otherwise, steer very well clear.

Episode reviews: Initial review

Warrior (US: Cinemax; UK: Sky1)

1×9 – Chinese Boxing

The big fight came and the big fight went down almost exactly as you’d expected. There was a moment when I thought the standard ‘hero’s journey’ would be subverted, but no.

However, a very interesting episode in itself, being the first flashback to China. We also got the return of Dustin Nguyen. So a good watch all round.

Episode reviews: Initial review

Recommended shows

The Twilight Zone (US: CBS All Access)

1×10 – Blurryman

Oh dear. What started as possibly the best episode of the show ends up being a bit of fanwank™ that made even the stage show‘s similar finale look like a good idea. It started off well enough with Seth Rogen the supposed star of the piece turning out to be Seth Rogen playing himself in an episode of a TV show called The Twilight Zone, allowing for a lot of meta commentary, and Jordan Peele to do a bit more than simply narrate and muck around a bit.

After that, though, it shifts to a (literal) runaround with Zazie Beetz (Deadpool 2) for about 10 minutes, before becoming a loving tribute to Rod Serling, including a recreation of classic episode Time Enough At Last. I appreciate all the effort that went into it, the embedding of Easter eggs throughout the season and even the shift into black and white and the cameo by Jason Priestley (genuinely a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ moment).

But honestly, after that initial meta fun, it was all very dull and self-congratulatory to watch.

As a season, pretty good and consistently interesting throughout. A little too sledgehammer at times and with only a couple of ‘stings’ to match the original or 80s’ remakes. But a highly commendable revival. Just a shame about the finale.

Episode reviews: Initial review

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1770981386338569

What We Do In The Shadows (US: FX; UK: BBC Two)

1×10 – Ancestry

Not the strongest episode of the season, but a good conclusion, giving us a revelation about one character that promises to take the show in new and genuinely unexpected directions. Also good to have Jake McDorman back again to do his thing – again, with revelations aplenty.

All in all, a slightly bumpy season overall. Frequently hilarious, with episode 7 destined to become a classic, it still never quite managed to use its cast as well as it did in the first episode. But every episode always had something good and offered the requisite number of laughs, so there was never a time when you regretted watching it or it was less than enjoyable.

I’ll be back for season 2.

Episode reviews: Initial review

Advertisements