Miracle Workers

Review: Miracle Workers 1×1 (US: TBS)

In the US: Tuesdays, 22.30/21.30c, TBS
In the UK: Not yet acquired

Looking at modern politics – perhaps tinted by the prism of middle-age in my case – it’s hard not to conclude as previous generations did that the whole world is going to pot. We’re all doomed, the planet’s doomed. Doomed. To be fair, even kids think we’re doomed, so maybe it’s not just my age here.

To be even fairer, God seems to think the world’s going to pot, too, at least according to TBS’s new limited series Miracle Workers. God – here played by no less a man than Steve Buscemi – is a bit upset with how big his project has become since it was just a few thousand people in the stone age. To be honest, he’s having a bit of a slump. In fact, he’d much rather focus on his hobbies.

Meanwhile, minor angel Geraldine Viswanathan has been toiling away in Heaven’s ‘dirt’ department for millennia. She’s full of hope for the future and wants to work somewhere else, so is overjoyed when she’s transferred to the ‘unmet prayers’ department. There she finds God hasn’t increased the department’s resources since he started the project, meaning that Harry Potter (aka Daniel Radcliffe) is the only member of staff in the department – and he can fix maybe four prayers a day, tops, since he’s required to obey the laws of physics when doing so, just so no one can say for sure who saved their bacon.

But when Viswanathan points out all these problems to God and that the world needs fixing, He decides that maybe she has a point… and decides it’s time to bin the whole thing. Fortunately for us, she strikes a bet with God – if she can fix one impossible prayer within the next fortnight, Earth will be saved. What’s she got to do?

Make two humans fall in love.

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The Other Two
International TV

What have you been watching? Including The Other Two

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

I haven’t reviewed any TV since last week. I blame Netflix, as well as my workload, which stopped me doing a third-episode verdict on The Passage. But at least I was able to launch shiny new movie review slot Orange Wednesday yesterday. But there has been one new show this week, The Other Two, which I’ll discuss after the jump.

Otherwise, it’ll just be the regulars: Black Monday, Cavendish, Corporate, Counterpart, The Magicians, Magnum P.I., The Orville, The PassageStar Trek: Discovery and True Detective. I might be giving up on at least one of those – can you guess which?

See you in a mo!

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Roswell New Mexico

Review: Roswell, New Mexico 1×1 (US: The CW)

In the US: Tuesdays, 9pm, The CW
In the UK: Not yet acquired

Given The CW’s current efforts to expand its drama provision quickly without making every show about a DC superhero, it shouldn’t be too surprising that it’s trawling through its and its predecessors’ archive of successful shows to see if it can find anything good to remake. Charmed was the first on its list and now we have a reboot of 1999 UPN/The WB series Roswell, more geographically explicitly called Roswell, New Mexico.

There’s a reason for that.

You might not remember Roswell. It was based on the Roswell High series of young adult books (not vice versa, as I discovered shortly after reviewing two of them for Dreamwatch back in the day – oops) and tried to capture the power of Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s decision to depict relatively humdrum teenage romances as being of literally Earth-shattering importance, largely because at least one person involved is a bit supernatural or alien.

However, it never managed to hit even a tenth of the impact of Buffy, so if you remember Roswell much at all, it’s probably because you remember its rather splendid theme tune by Dido:

Alternatively, you may remember it as launching the careers of the likes of Katherine Heigl (Suits), Shiri Appleby (UnREAL), Emilie De Ravin (Lost), Adam Rodriguez (CSI: Miami) and Colin Hanks (Fargo), all of whom have gone onto much better things. And 27 Dresses in Heigl’s case.

Roswell, New Mexico
(L-R): Nathan Dean Parsons as Max Evans, Lily Cowles as Isobel Evans-Bracken and Michael Vlamis as Michael Guerin — Photo: Ursula Coyote/The CW — © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved

Deja vu

If by chance or use of the spice Melange you can actually remember the plot of Roswell, you’ll already know what Roswell, New Mexico is going to present you with, since the first episode is a virtual remake. It sees Jeanine Mason (So You Think You Can Dance) taking on Appleby’s role as Liz, now the daughter of two undocumented immigrants. A jaded biomedical researcher elsewhere, she nevertheless returns to her home town of Roswell, New Mexico, that she thought she’d left behind.

While temporarily helping out in her parents’ diner, she’s accidentally shot by anti-immigrants and is about to die. Fortunately, her former High School boyfriend turned town deputy sheriff Max (was Jason Behr but now True Blood‘s Nathan Dean Parsons) is on hand. I say fortunately, because he’s also an alien and has various supernatural powers, including the ability to heal people with his touch, which leaves a glowing palm print on Mason’s skin when he removes the bullet and heals her wound.

Despite sister Isabel (was Heigl, now Lily Cowles) and brother Michael (was Brandon Fehr but now Michael Vlamis)’s express wishes to the contrary, he’s soon revealing all to Mason. He explains that he and they are aliens, survivors of the famous UFO crash landing in Roswell in 1947. Their pods lay dormant for 50+ years, after which they emerged looking like human children and were adopted by human families – or fostered in Vlamis’ case. They’ve kept themselves to themselves to avoid being experimented upon, but he loves her so much, he had to tell her his secret. Otherwise, they just want to be left in peace to live normal lives.

Unfortunately for the aliens, there’s a secret military contingent in town who are keeping an eye out for aliens – and glowing palm prints. They don’t believe that the aliens are peaceful… and surprisingly they might have a point, since the death of Mason’s mum might have a different explanation from the one she’s always been told.

Roswell, New Mexico
(L-R): Lily Cowles as Isobel and Michael Vlamis as Michael — Photo: John Golden Britt/The CW — © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved

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Fam on CBS
International TV

What have you been watching? Including Schooled and Fam

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

It only took about a week before WHYBW missed its scheduled slot, but given how much new stuff has recently arrived and how much old stuff has returned to Tuesdays and Wednesdays, please forgive me. Still, I was wondering what I was going to do on Thursdays…

The Passage
THE PASSAGE: L-R: Saniyya Sidney and Mak-Paul Gosselaar in THE PASSAGE on FOX. ©2018 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Steve Dietl/FOX

This week’s reviews

To be frank, I’ve done a crap-load of reviews and previews since last time, too.

Please peruse them at your leisure, whether you intend to watch the shows or not.

ABC’s Schooled

New shows

Coming up in the next week, I’ll be reviewing The CW’s Roswell reboot, Roswell, New Mexico. Season two of The Punisher will be hitting Netflix this Friday, so I’ll undoubtedly be watching that. And if anything else pops up I’ll review that, too, if I can.

After the jump, though, despite my already extensive viewing schedule, there’ll be reviews of two other new shows I managed to catch: Schooled (US: ABC) and Fam (US: CBS). Gosh, mid-season replacements that are also sitcoms. Cos they’re always funny, hey?

I’ll also be talking about series five of Cuckoo (UK: BBC Three), which I know isn’t a new show and it’s not even a show new to me, but I think it’s probably the first time I’ll have talked about it on the blog.

The Orville

The regulars

Although Counterpart decided to take a break this Sunday, a whole bunch of other shows decided to return this week. That means that after the jump, there’ll be the season (and probably series) finale of the one remaining regular, Happy Together, as well as new episodes of returning regulars Magnum P.I.Corporate and True Detective. Joining them will be the second episodes of both Cavendish and Project Blue Book.

And for reasons that will become clear, I’ll also be talking about every episode of The Orville that’s aired since I gave up on it after its third episode.

See you in a mo…

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The Passage

Review: The Passage 1×1 (US: Fox; UK: Fox UK)

In the US: Mondays, 9/8c, Fox
In the UK: Tuesdays, 9pm, Fox UK

Remember the days when illnesses on TV simply made people sick? Happy times, huh? Now, they simply kill huge chunks of the Earth’s population (The Last Ship), turn huge chunks of the Earth’s population into zombies (The Walking Dead), turn huge chunks of the Earth’s population into vampires (The Strain) or turn a few people into weird immortals who want to kill everyone else (Helix).

Now we have The Passage, in which we have a virus that turns a few people into weird, immortal, definitely-not-vampires who want to kill everyone else. There’s new, hey?

The Passage

Passing bad

It starts off with good scientist Henry Ian Cusick (Lost, The 100) heading off to South America to investigate a supposed 250-year-old man, hoping to find out the secret of his longevity. Unfortunately, it turns out that the secret is he’s a vampire – don’t say vampire – and he ends up biting Cusick’s fellow scientist Jamie McShane (Bosch, Bloodline). McShane rapidly heals and equally rapidly becomes a bit odd, so he’s shipped back home and locked up and experimented upon to see if the secret of his vampirism – don’t say vampire – can be replicated and maybe made less ‘vampirey’ (don’t say vampire).

After experimenting a lot on handy death-row prisoners, the scientists get their formula to the point that the vampires – don’t – still look human, even if they do have to drink blood from time to time. But that’s still not good enough and the scientists reckon that the problem is all their test subjects are too old. Stick the secret formula into a child and they might have a way of curing all diseases and death, all without the need to constantly crack open someone’s vein for some top O-.

When a new avian flu pandemic for which there’s no vaccine flares up in East Asia, morality about experimenting on kids quickly gets thrown aside as the Americans realise it might infect Americans. So they pick a test orphan (Saniyya Sidney) and dispatch ex-special forces soldier and Saved By the Bell star Mark-Paul Gosselaar to bring her in.

Unfortunately for them, he lost his own child three years previously and soon develops a bond with the girl. Despite not knowing exactly what they’re up to, he quickly decides his bosses are evil and decides to ignore his orders and go on the run.

Which is probably just as well, because the new creatures of the day, not the night, definitely not the night, might also have psychic powers and are filling people’s dreams with thoughts – thoughts that might include letting them out and infecting the human race with the new engineered strain of the disease.

However, given we’re told by Sidney in voiceover at the beginning that “this is how the world ends”, I wouldn’t put all my money on Gosselaar succeeding in his quest, if I were you.

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