News and reviews of Australian and New Zealand TV
It’s “What did you watch last week?, my chance to tell you what movies and TV I watched last week that I haven’t already reviewed and your chance to recommend things to everyone else (and me) in case I’ve missed them.
The usual “TMINE recommends” page features links to reviews of all the shows I’ve ever recommended, and there’s also the Reviews A-Z, for when you want to check more or less anything I’ve reviewed ever. And if you want to know when any of these shows are on in your area, there’s Locate TV.
As usual, a bevy of reviews up last week, including:
- The Blacklist (NBC/Sky Living) (third-episode verdict)
- Hinterland/Y Gwyll (S4C/BBC Wales/BBC4)
- Serangoon Road (ABC1/HBO Asia) (third-episode verdict)
- Agents of SHIELD (ABC/Channel 4) (third-episode verdict)
- The Tunnel/Tunnel (Sky Atlantic/Canal+)
- The Tomorrow People (The CW/E4)
I gave up on Ironside, midway through the second episode, on the grounds that it was rubbish and derivative, and spent all its time trying to prove what a man Ironside was. Sean Saves The World was only marginally funny and relied completely on Sean’s boss for those funny moments, so that’s being abandoned, too. Super Fun Night wasn’t even that funny and was actually kind of sad instead, so that’s being consigned to the “not interested” heap, too.
I tried the first episodes of a few other shows, none of which were good enough to continue being watched:
Jack Davenport is a 1960s surgeon/hottie in an ensemble piece that looks like a bad carbon copy of Call The Midwife, The Hour and Mad Men, without any of the interesting qualities of any of them.
Once Upon A Time In Wonderland (ABC)
Even duller spin-off from Once Upon A Time, this time focused on the grown-up Alice and her efforts to find her genie boyfriend Silas, aided by the Knave of Hearts (Michael Socha from Being Human) and the White Rabbit (John Lithgow). Almost completely impenetrable to anyone who hasn’t watched however many seasons it is of Once Upon A Time, and best described as having ‘scenes of mild peril, romance and humour, but nothing more’.
Witches of East End (Lifetime/Lifetime UK)
Julia Ormond is a witch. She has lots of witch daughters who are all grown up but don’t know they’re witches. There’s a bit of shagging, a bit of voodoo, but this is really one for fans of the book series this is based upon and for people who really loved Charmed when they were teenagers and have been hoping for something less complicated and interesting ever since. The only tolerable and enjoyable part of it was Madchen Amick.
Still in the viewing queue are last night’s Homeland and Serangoon Road. The third episode of Atlantis is about 15 minutes too long, 10 times too unfaithful to myth and about 7 times too dull to be enjoyable, but I’m bearing with it for now.
Shows I’m watching but not necessarily recommending
Strike Back (Cinemax/Sky 1)
Something of a return to form in terms of action scenes, with some hugely impressive shoot-outs. Good ending, too, even if you could probably see it coming a mile off.
Arrow (The CW/Sky 1)
The usual second season partial reboot we’ve come to expect from US shows, with people changing jobs, doing odd things, changing relationships, redecorating, etc, purely because there’s been a gap of a few months. Nevertheless, a really excellent first episode, the introduction by the looks of it of Black Canary and some decent stunt scenes. The flashbacks to the island are a bit unnecessary, though, now, even if does give us lots of Manu Bennett.
Elementary (CBS/Sky Living)
After a decidedly regular and uninspired episode, a genuinely moving ending featuring a guest vocal appearance by Natalie Dormer as Jamie Moriarty which only made me want more.
Modern Family (ABC/Sky 1)
Funny and a determined improvement on the previous few weeks.
“What did you watch last week?” is your chance to recommend to friends and fellow blog readers the TV and films that they might be missing or should avoid – and for me to do mini-reviews of everything I’ve watched. Since we live in the fabulous world of Internet catch-up services like the iPlayer and Hulu, why not tell your fellow readers what you’ve seen so they can see the good stuff they might have missed?