Carol's Second Act
US TV

Fall 2019 – part 2: The Unicorn, Carol’s Second Act, Perfect Harmony and Sunnyside

Normally, around this time this week, I’d be reviewing a boxset. I had selected Netflix’s The Politician for that singular pleasure, mainly because Walter was only getting round to presenting Hotel Beau Séjour on Sunday.

But unfortunately, watching all of last week’s remaining TV shows and playing catch-up with the regulars got the better of me, so I’ve not watched either. Guess which one will be next week’s Boxset Monday (assuming I don’t try Raising Dion instead), though?

Rather than dumping reviews of all those new shows on you tomorrow at the same time as discussing the usual regulars, including the season/series finales of כפולים (False Flag)Flateyjargátan (The Flatey Enigma) and Glitch, I thought I’d discuss them all now. Plus, just like last week, with a few exceptions, there’s honestly not been a great crop, so they’re not worth dealing with individually anyway.

So after the jump, I’ll be casting my eye over new, lacklustre arrivals The Unicorn, Carol’s Second Act, Perfect Harmony and Sunnyside.

See you in a mo.

Continue reading “Fall 2019 – part 2: The Unicorn, Carol’s Second Act, Perfect Harmony and Sunnyside”
Katja Herbers, Aasif Mandvi and Mike Colter in CBS's Evil
US TV

Review: Evil 1×1 (US: CBS)

In the US: Thursdays, 10/9c, CBS
In the UK: Not yet acquired

Ever since The Exorcist and The Omen, there’s been a tried and trusted format for ‘sceptical investigations of demonic evil’. There’s a possession. Scientific sceptics turn up and throw cold water over the idea of possession. Various incidents occur that show them to be complete idiots. Everyone becomes Catholic.

TV and film since then have done little to change that format, particularly since audience’s are quite inclined to want to believe that kind of thing anyway. Plus it’s a lot harder to scare the crap out of people with tales of dripping taps and gas-emitting rocks inducing hallucinations.

All the same, after a while, it gets a bit dull. So kudos to the refreshingly entitled Evil for giving us a supernatural investigation series that manages to be scary as well as funny, and to more or less side with science against religion – all while pointing its finger at the true evil in this world: people, particularly people on 4Chan.

Evil

Evil eye

Created by CBS premier league team Robert and Michelle King (BrainDead, The Good Wife, The Good Fight), Evil sees Katja Herbers (Manhattan, Westworld) playing a forensic psychologist who usually testifies on behalf of the local district attorney. When she investigates one man claimed to be demonically possessed, has a suspicion he might be and so refuses to testify that he’s insane, the DA dumps her.

A single mum strapped for cash after a divorce and now jobless, she’s only too happy to take up sexy would-be priest Mike Coulter (The Good Wife, Marvel’s Luke Cage)’s offer of a job investigating such cases on behalf of the Catholic Church. There’s a backlog of about 500,000 complaints, you see, and they don’t need a believer to help winnow that pile down – they need someone who can spot the difference between a real possession and fakers, the deluded et al.

Together with technical expert Aasif Mandvi (The Daily Show), Coulter and Herbers set out to separate the real from the unreal. Something Michael Emerson (Lost, Person of Interest, The Name of the Rose) doesn’t want to happen.

Because he’s evil.

Continue reading “Review: Evil 1×1 (US: CBS)”
Stumptown
US TV

Review: Stumptown 1×1 (US: ABC; UK: Alibi)

In the US: Wednesdays, 10/9c, ABC
In the UK: Acquired by Alibi

Guys, I think private detective shows are coming back into fashion. They’d been left in the land of re-runs for a long time, with the occasional attempt to revive the format such as Terriers struggling to find an audience.

But then CBS resurrected Magnum PI, which was like a breath of fresh air in a market stuffed full of police procedurals. And now, a year on, we have Stumptown, ABC’s effort.

I wonder how long it’ll be before the other networks have a go, too, because like Magnum PI, Stumptown ain’t half bad.

Stumptown

Smuldering

Stumptown is an example of another reasonably rare phenomenon – an adaptation of a graphic novel that isn’t about superheroes or the supernatural. Instead, it takes Greg Rucka (Wonder Woman, Queen & Country)’s Stumptown characters and fleshes them out into a woke combination of comedy and drama.

Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother, Avengers Assemble, Captain America: Winter Soldier) plays Dex Parios, a former marine with PTSD who now spends most of her time drinking her invalidity benefit and gambling in the local Portland reservation’s casino. She also has a younger brother with Down Syndrome whom she cares for.

When she loses big time again at the casino, its owner – and Dex’s almost mother-in-law – Sue Lynn Blackbird (Tantoo Cardinal) offers to clear her debt in exchange for Dex using her Marine hunting powers to locate her missing granddaughter.

Naturally, it’s not quite as simple as all that, leading Dex to come into conflict – and something a bit more pleasant – with the local police (Almost Human’s Michael Ealy).

Continue reading “Review: Stumptown 1×1 (US: ABC; UK: Alibi)”
International TV

What have you been watching? Including Prodigal Son, Bob ♥ Abishola, All Rise, Emergence, Mixed-ish and Bluff City Law

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

Criminal: France
Netflix’s Criminal: France

This week’s reviews

Despite the launch of the Fall season in the US this week, it’s been a quiet one for TMINE, with just Netflix’s multi-country police interrogation show Criminal getting a Boxset Monday review.

Why so quiet? Well, I have been sad to discover that few have really been good enough so far to warrant a full review.

That means that after the jump, expect some brief rundowns on both Mondays and Tuesday’s new US shows: Bob ♥ Abishola (CBS), All Rise (CBS), Prodigal Son (Fox), Bluff City Law (NBC), Mixed-ish (ABC) and Emergence (ABC). None of them have been picked up UK networks yet, which suggests I’m not 100% wrong in my judgement of them.

However, that’s all four broadcast networks (that have viewers – sorry, CW) airing something new, and there are at least three keepers in there for now, one of which is really good. Which network produced the best ones? Find out after the jump – it might not be the one you’re expecting.

Netflix’s The Politician

What’s coming this week

With Fall in progress, I doubt I’ll be able to fit in an Orange Thursday, unfortunately, although I do have Netflix’s Between Two Ferns: The Movie pencilled in, in case of miracles.

But I should be able to do brief reviews at least before next WHYBW of the following shows: Stumptown (ABC), The Unicorn (CBS), Perfect Harmony (NBC), Carol’s Second Act (CBS), Sunnyside (NBC) and Evil (CBS).

Boxset Monday? Well, fingers crossed, it’ll be Netflix’s The Politician. But we’ll see. Could be anything.

DC Universe’s Titans

The regulars

It’s the usual usuals after the jump: כפולים (False Flag), Flateyjargátan (The Flatey Enigma), Glitch, Mr Inbetween and Titans. Unfortunately, my Pennyworth catch-up schedule has been hit by all the new shows, so that’ll have to wait for a bit. But I will get there in the end. Promise.

All of that, after the jump.

Continue reading “What have you been watching? Including Prodigal Son, Bob ♥ Abishola, All Rise, Emergence, Mixed-ish and Bluff City Law”
US TV

Review: The Rook 1×1 (US: Starz; UK: Virgin)

In the US: Sundays, 8pm ET/PT, Starz
In the UK: Mondays, 10pm, Virgin TV Ultra HD. Starts tonight

I can’t tell if Starz is a bit limited or has a David Cameron-esque ‘one in, one out’ approach to TV series. If you recall, until quite recently, it had a sci-fi spy thriller set in a major European capital: the rather good Counterpart. It cancelled that before the end of the second season for no really good reason.

But could the explanation for this insanity have nothing to do with quality or ratings? Could it simply be because Starz had The Rook coming and it didn’t want two very similar shows on at the same time? One clearly a lot, lot better than the other?

Joely Richardson in The Rook
Joely Richardson in The Rook

Rookie mistake

Adapted from Daniel O’Malley’s novel of the same name, The Rook is set in frequently rainy London and sees Emma Greenwell (Shameless US) waking up next to the Millennium Bridge, surrounded by a host of internally exploded dead bodies. She doesn’t remember how she got there or even what her name is, let alone how everyone died, so legs it.

In her pocket, she discovers a letter – from herself. In it are two keys to a safety deposit: one red, one blue. If she uses the blue key, she can start a new life with a new identity; if she uses the red key, she can re-enter her old life. Be warned, her previous self warns her, your old life is dangerous.

Guess which one she picks.

The Rook

By hook or by rook

Soon, ‘Myfanwy’ is learning that she works for a secret branch of British Intelligence called the Checquy that deals with people with special powers. Everyone in Checquy is given a rank based on chess and she’s a ‘rook’ and works for ‘queen’ Joely Richardson.

All she’s got to do is find out what happened to her and not get found out –and not let guest American agent Olivia Munn (The Newsroom) learn that she’s the one who exploded her boyfriend by the bridge. Oops.

Continue reading “Review: The Rook 1×1 (US: Starz; UK: Virgin)”