International TV

What have you been watching? Including Trickster and Helstrom

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

No reviews. Sorry. Usual excuses – and it’s going to be worse next week, since I’m on holiday because it’s Half Term, which means WHYBW will be taking a break next week, too.

But I have been watching TV, I promise. And I will be watching more…

ANYA TAYLOR as BETH HARMON in THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT. Cr. CHARLIE GRAY/NETFLIX © 2020

Next on TMINE

There’s actually not too much coming up in terms of new shows for me to review. Netflix has limited series The Queen’s Gambit, which I might try. But HBO’s The Undoing, which airs on Sunday in the US, is going to be on Sky Atlantic on Monday, so there’s nothing for me to do there, I suspect.

Otherwise, the second season of The Mandalorian starts on October 30, but that’s about it. Probably a good time for us all to have holidays, then.…

Warrior

What TMINE has been watching

The regulars list is starting to dwindle again. After the jump, reviews of the latest episodes I’ve watched of neXt, The Right Stuff, Tehran and Warrior, the season finale of Criminal (UK), as well as the first episodes of new Canadian show Trickster and the latest Marvel comics adaptation Helstrom.

However, at least one of those is for the chop. Can you guess which one?

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International TV

What have you been watching? Including Connecting… and The Right Stuff

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

Feast and famine, hey? One minute there’s nothing to watch, the next minute we’re drowning in shows. Yet again, though, I’ve failed to review anything and WHYBW is on Thursday again, but I have at least watched lots. We can talk about that in a mo…

CBC’s Trickster

Next on TMINE

Tomorrow will see the return of Covideodrome with The Gentlemen (2019). I’ll also be casting an eye over Trickster (Canada: CBC; UK: Syfy) and maybe even The Haunting of Bly Manor at some point in the next week. I might even play catch up and give Amazon’s Utopia remake a gander.

Meanwhile, Star Trek: Discovery is back today in the US, although whether I’ll watch it is very much up to Lovely Wife, since I’m inclined not to. The new West Wing special is on tonight, while latest Marvel comics show Helstrom is coming to Hulu (US) tomorrow, but that seems to be about it. I’ll do my best to review the last of those at least – and anything else that shows up that I’ve missed.

What TMINE has been watching

The regulars list is looking quite healthy, even though The Boys has just given us its season finale. After the jump, reviews of that, Criminal (UK), neXt and Tehran, as well as new NBC (US) show Connecting… and Disney+’s The Right Stuff.

Meanwhile, I’ve also only just noticed that Warrior (US: Cinemax; UK: Sky Atlantic) has been back for two whole weeks, so I’ll be playing catch-up with that next week. Oops.

Continue reading “What have you been watching? Including Connecting… and The Right Stuff”
International TV

What have you been watching? Including neXt

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

Niv Sultan in Tehran

Previously on TMINE

Sigh. I’ve been busy again this week, which is why WHYBW is a day late. But I did manage to find the time to watch and review the first four episodes of Tehran (Israel: Kan 11; UK: Apple TV+).

Disney+’s The Right Stuff

Next on TMINE

It’s Thursday, today, and it’s one or the other with WHYBW and Orange Thursday. WHYBW won, so Orange Thursday will be next Thursday. All it might be Covideodrome again by that point, given how many cinemas are closing for winter.

Whichever it is, the movies being reviewed will be: The Gentlemen (2019) and Zodiac (2007).

TV-wise, thankfully, there’s a few new shows coming our way in the next week. Covid comedy Connecting… hits NBC in the US tonight, while on Friday, we have Haunting of Hill House sequel The Haunting of Bly Manor coming to Netflix and space race drama The Right Stuff arriving on Disney+.

Hopefully, I’ll be reviewing at least one of those – and anything else that comes along.

John Noble in The Boys

What TMINE has been watching

The regulars list is now two shows, The Boys (Amazon) and the UK episodes of Criminal (Netflix). I’ll be talking about both of those after the jump. Also getting a gander will be the first episode of new US AI shocker neXt – not to be confused with NeXT.

Otherwise, the only TV I’ve been watching has been Married At First Sight (Australia), in which a bunch of unmarried Aussies, desperate for love, agree to marry sight-unseen someone picked for them by a panel of experts who reckon they’re a good match.

It’s constantly referred to as an ‘experiment’, and it certainly does feel like the sort of things a more benevolent, more romantic Dr Mengele might have cooked up on Valentine’s Day for his subjects – everyone clearly has a psychological problem of some sort and the panel of experts really just seems to want to know what happens when you marry off a woman who has alopecia to a fitness trainer with OCD. What could go wrong? What emotional damage might people suffer? No idea! Let’s find out!

It’s somewhat despicable TV that to be fair, does make the occasional good match and has the occasional moment that can renew your faith in humanity and your own sex… until the next scene when it inevitably whips them away like a magician faced with a runner and a bowl of fruit on a table.

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US TV

Review: Perry Mason (US: HBO; UK: Sky Atlantic)

In the US: Sundays, 9pm, HBO
In the UK: Mondays, 2am, Sky Atlantic

The peak of Perry Mason’s fame has long passed. From his origination in the stories and movies of the 1930s, through the radio series of the 40s/50s and 50s/60s TV series with Raymond Burr to the 80s/90s TV movie revival of said series with Raymond Burr, the public’s familiarity with the dazzling defence lawyer is diminishing, as old age claims those who loved him when they were younger.

So to a certain extent, the makers of this prequel mini-series could do what they wanted – who remembers enough about Mason that they’ll quibble (or at least care about) the lack of faithfulness to the source material?

Even more so, the books at least are very unspecific about Mason and his background. There are a couple of references here and there, but for the most part, Mason is a cipher, an idea – he’s a lawyer on the side of good who’ll defend the innocent, investigate the truth and win all his cases, with the assistance of secretary Della Street and detective Paul Drake.

But given that those are the core ideas of Mason that those who know Mason will remember, you have to wonder why for this prequel Perry Mason mini-series, the show’s producers have opted to portray Mason as a Depression era, down-at-heel, hard-boiled, largely conscienceless private eye who exploits the weak and innocent and only shows up in a court room as a witness or defendant.

Couldn’t they just have adapted something by Dashiell Hammett instead? It’s not like they were stumped for options

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Streaming TV

Third-episode verdict: Space Force (Netflix)

In the UK: Available on Netflix

It’s one of the clichés of modern times that the Trump presidency is beyond satire – it’s so inherently ridiculous that nothing satirists can do can possibly trump Trump.

That’s not quite true. Plenty of shows mock Trump every day and we’ve had the likes of the self-explanatory Our Cartoon President (US: Showtime) built entirely around sending him up. The Good Fight (US: CBS All Access; UK: More 4) has also done a decent job of mocking Trump’s input into the US’s legal and political systems:

However, most of the mockery is largely targeted at the man himself. His policies, meanwhile, are normally so horrifying that no one can think of anything funny to say in response. Maybe in that sense Trump might be beyond satire.

So you’ve got to hand it to Netflix’s new comedy, Space Force, for at least trying to satirise an actual policy position of Donald Trump – namely Space Force, for those of us who have been avoiding the news as much as possible. The question is: is this first real stab at Trumpian policy satire good or even funny?

Steve Carell and Lisa Kudrow in Space Force

A space force to be reckoned with?

Co-created by and starring Steve Carrell (The Office (US), Anchorman, The Daily Show, The Morning Show), Space Force sees Carrell playing a newly promoted 4* Air Force general at the height of his game. His predecessor and general bête noire Noah Emmerich (The Americans, The Spy) is about to retire and Carrell is set to replace him.

However, almost immediately, Carrell learns he is instead set to head up and largely create from scratch Trump’s Space Force, with the perpetual aim of ‘boots on the Moon by 2024’! That means moving to Colorado, something about which his wife, Lisa Kudrow (Friends), and teenage daughter (Diana Silvers) are not 100% jubilant.

Soon, Carrell is butting heads not just with chief scientist John Malkovich but with science itself, as he learns that reality has a liberal bias.

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