What have you been watching? Including What We Do In The Shadows

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

TMINE’s ever-increasing workload means that somehow WHYBW has slowly slipped from Wednesday to Thursday to Friday and now to Monday. This is despite the recommended list and the number of new (and interesting) shows appearing on your screens dropping to an all-time low.

I don’t think I’m operating on some sort of weird lunar calendar, but it’s always a possibility. Still, at least Monday makes some kind of weird sense for WHYBW, as a way to round off the weekend and start the work.

And I did at least manage to review all of season 3 of The Crown (Netflix).

Hannibal

What TMINE has been watching

The lack of reviews isn’t down to a lack of viewing. Season 3 of Baron Noir continues at pace and continues to be great. For a bit of light, concentration-free relief, I’ve also been watching some previous greats from the TMINE archives: Hannibal (US: NBC; UK: Netflix) and Travelers (Canada: Showcase; UK: Netflix).

Travelers is proving to be as great as it seemed at the time, whereas Hannibal, beyond that blinder of a pilot episode, is getting quagmired in a greater pretentiousness than I recall season one having, as well as those initial Criminal Minds style episodes that really dragged. However, there’s usually at least a few genius moments in each and it remains as sumptuous to watch and listen to as before.

I haven’t managed to tuck into season two of Das Boot (Germany: Sky; UK: Sky Atlantic), but I’m sure it’ll only be a matter of time.

Covideodrome has also been hard at work. I did give 21 Bridges (2019) a try, seeing as it’s currently free on Amazon Prime, but that was bad enough that first Lovely Wife gave up on it after about 20 minutes and then I did 10 minutes later. Bad, bad dialogue. However…

Next on TMINE

…with a Disney+ subscription and access to almost all the movies that Disney has ever made, we decided to fill some gaps in our collective viewing and work our way through a whole bunch of movies we’ve never watched, including The Jungle Book, Mulan, Moana, Brave, Aladdin and The Lion King. More on them later in the week. Probably.

Covid has now really kicked into the schedules and the only new show that I can see coming up this week is Hulu’s new series, Love, Victor, but I honestly can’t be bothered with teen/YA romances, gay or otherwise, particularly if they’re spin-offs of movies I haven’t seen. Australia et al don’t seem to have anything new either, so I’ll see if I can find something on Netflix or Amazon instead

What We Do In The Shadows

After the jump…

After the jump, I’ll be looking at the final episodes of the first season of Space Force. Otherwise, it’s just the ridiculously small list of regulars: Operation Buffalo, Star Girl and What We Do In The Shadows, which is about to get two-thirds smaller… Eek!

What TMINE watched this week

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 15 years.

Shows I’m watching but not necessarily recommending

Operation Buffalo (Australia: ABC)

1×2 – Episode 2

So a good point at which to quit this, as it’s the point where the series starts to develop properly. Jessica De Gouw has also just shown up as a badly English-accented descendant of Lloyd George, which neatly complements all the other bad accents on display.

The English are largely there as an examination of imperial attitudes at the time and are largely figures of fun. That works quite well in the context of the faux-Pathé-style news footage the show offers. But it’s very broadly drawn and doesn’t really say anything new – apparently, posh Brits in the 1950s would have been surprised that Aborigines didn’t speak English. Would you Adam and Eve it?

Slightly more interesting are the ructions with AZIO, but as both a thriller and satire, this is very much a blunderbuss approach. I like the characters, I like the actors (irrespective of how bad their accents are), but Operation Buffalo‘s more a damp squib than a nuclear explosion.

TMINE rating

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Initial TMINE verdict

Space Force (Netflix)

1×9-1×10

In common with Operation Buffalo, as well as some relatively limp satire, Space Force has tried to be serious, with its final two episodes leading China and the US to the brink of war on the Moon. Or something like it.

Again, it’s been an uneasy fit between oafish head-banging at Donald Trump and general political idiocy and more sophisticated, cleverer humour and points (“After World War II, we knew what war looked like and we were less likely to want to fight. We don’t know any more and we’re arrogant. Arrogance will be our downfall.”). John Malkovich continues to amuse, as does Jimmy O Yang, everyone else less so, even the normally reliable Aparna Nancherla (Corporate, Mythic Quest).

Everything ends with a cliffhanger, with no plots resolved. We don’t even learn why the largely absent Lisa Kudrow has been in prison all season. I don’t know if there’ll be a second season, but we’ll probably watch it, surprisingly. It’s not brilliant, by a long chalk, but it has its moments, Malkovich Malkovich is great and it is at least diverting.

TMINE rating

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Initial TMINE verdict

Stargirl (US: DC Universe)

1×4 – Wildcat

We get our latest origin story for the junior Justice Society of America, as well as a Very Important Message about sending naked photos of oneself and Slut Shaming. It is easy to be cynical about Very Important Messages, but at the same time, it was really quite heart-breaking to watch the happy pre-Wildcat, loved by all, including her family, fall from grace. And you can see why she’d want to be someone else after, but I liked the fact it wasn’t an instant switch and she wanted to try to be strong and resurrect her life first.

Otherwise, plenty of humour and teenage hijinks. Not so may of the adult themes as before, but enough to keep us older folk happy. Which given Stargirl is the only TMINE Regular left is a good thing.

TMINE rating

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Initial TMINE verdict

Recommended shows

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

2×10 – Nouveau Théâtre Des Vampires

And the season ends with, if not quite a spectacular finale, one that does at least bring together all the season’s major plot points, advance the characters and narrative, and bring back (spoiler alert) Jemaine Clement . Great to see Guillermo’s new talents on display, too, in a very funny scene.

All in all, a significantly better season than the first, let down only by a couple of week episodes in the final third of the season. The show’s been renewed for a third season, so I’ll definitely be back for another bite.

Gosh, the top comedy just keeps coming from me, doesn’t it?

TMINE Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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