What have you been watching? Including For Life and Star Trek: Picard

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

Previously on TMINE

It’s been a quietish week for new TV this week. I never did manage to find a way to watch Tribal (Canada: APTN) and I never did find the time to watch Gentefied (Netflix), but I did at least give you the Boxset Tuesday treat of Amazon’s Hunters. Meanwhile, for our weekly look at the silver screen, Orange Thursday previewed Greed (2020) and reviewed Gemini Man (2019).

Al Pacino in Amazon's Hunters
Al Pacino in Amazon’s Hunters

Next on TMINE

We’re coming up to a busy fortnight for TMINE, as it’s providing paternity cover for someone for the next two weeks. How modern, hey? I’m hoping to still bring you whatever reviews I can fit in, but take the following schedule with a pinch of salt, particularly since some extra work just came in for me today. Sigh.

In movies, tomorrow’s Orange Thursday will be reviewing 1917 (2019) and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019).

I hope to preview the forthcoming War of the Worlds some time in the next couple of days or Monday – probably Monday as it doesn’t start until March 5 on Fox.

Season two of Altered Carbon is available on Netflix from tomorrow, so I’ll definitely be watching as much of that as I can (unless it turns out to be rubbish). Fingers crossed for Boxset Tuesday there.

I Am Not Okay With This (Netflix) came out today, but it’s probably too teen for me, but Sunday’s Dispatches From Elsewhere (US/UK: AMC) might be worth a whirl, even though its an anthology show. And fingers especially crossed for Stateless (Australia: ABC; UK: Netflix), which also starts on Sunday.

The regulars

The list of regulars is expanding again: joining The Outsider, Star Trek: Picard and Stumptown are Locke & Key and For Life, although I haven’t managed to watch last night’s episode. All of those after the jump.

What TMINE watched this week

Shows I’m watching but not necessarily recommending

For Life (US: ABC)

1×2 – Promises

For Life is shaping up to be a very interesting beast, at the moment. On the one hand, we have its continuing exploration of how the good guys can use the loopholes in the system to stop people they think are the bad guys from being able to use it to their benefit. Here we have the cops doing all they can to stop our hero from finding out what they know (or think they know) about him. Except he’s innocent.

On the other, we also get a view of a completely different justice system. Just as JAG showed us the military justice system, here we see what the formal and informal justice systems inside a prison are like. How do you investigate a crime in prison, particularly if you’re a prisoner? What politics do you have to negotiate? How do you bring a case? How do you prosecute a case?

It’s all new to me, anyway, so I’m very definitely going to keep watching.

TMINE rating

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Initial TMINE review

The Outsider (US: HBO; UK: Sky Atlantic)

1×8 – Foxhead

The first episode so far to really amp up the supernatural and it was decently creepy while it did it. Plenty of fruity scenes of people sitting around chatting, True Detective style, too, which was enjoyable. The plot also moved on at a clip, and there was a creeping horror to the piece.

But honestly, an episode that should have been about two episodes earlier, because the show really has stretched the raw material to breaking point now.

TMINE rating

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Initial TMINE review

Star Trek: Picard (US: CBS All Access; UK: Amazon)

1×5 – Stardust City Rag

The first Chabon-free episode initially had me worried, since it felt like it had gone from being regular fan fiction to that 90s-style Doctor Who Missing Adventures style of fan fiction that goes for gritty and edgy by killing off lots of favourite characters in horrible ways.

However, it soon shaped up to become both a welcome outing for Jeri Ryan’s Seven of Nine and the first funny episode of the series. Perhaps too funny, to be honest, because if there’s one thing we’ve learnt from Blunt Talk, it’s that Patrick Stewart’s comedic talents aren’t what they used to be. But it was nice, at least, not to be bored.

Looks like Ryan’s only it occasionally, though, which is a shame, as she brought some much needed charisma to the show.

TMINE rating

⭐⭐⭐

Initial TMINE review

Stumptown (US: ABC)

1×15 – At All Costs: The Conrad Costas Chronicles

God won’t this end? How many more episodes are there? I thought it was 13, Wikipedia says there’s 15 but has a space for a 16th. This ain’t a finale, but come on guys, you’re just treading water here.

Still, despite being a “long-lost father” episode (Jesus, these people are in their 30s and 40s and have even been in prison – grow up and move on), some amusement to be had from its relocation to Hollywood for an episode.

TMINE rating

⭐⭐

Initial TMINE review

Recommended shows

Locke & Key (Netflix)

1×7–1×10

A promotion to the recommended list this week for a show that started off almost unbearably twee but ended up only getting better and better over the course of its run, with these final three episodes really expanding the storyline. Some real surprises in there, although you could probably have guessed a few things, with a really good final episode that ties together the whole storyline and adds some surprising explorations of (spoiler alert) trans issues.

The ending is open, ready for another season, and for once, that doesn’t feel like a con, since if the show does end, that open ending would actually work very well (and very nastily). Roll on season two. But ditch the Harry Potter music while you’re at it – I nearly switched off because of it.

TMINE rating

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Initial TMINE review

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