The Magicians season 3
International TV

What have you been watching? Including The Magicians and Cardinal

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

We’re over the first phase of new US TV shows this week, ready for the next phase in February, which means there haven’t been many new additions to the TMINE viewing queuing. Last night’s premiere of Black Lightning (US: The CW; UK: Netflix) will be getting a review on Friday, while elsewhere this week, I previewed Sky Atlantic’s forthcoming Britannia and reviewed CBC (Canada)’s Burden of Truth, so it wasn’t entirely uneventful. The Magicians was back as well.

Nevertheless, that still left a little time for me to watch an episode of Lucifer out of curiosity to see if it had got more interesting. I’ll be discussing that after the jump with the current regulars: The Brave, Cardinal, Engrenages (Spiral), Falling Water, Great News, Happy!, SEAL Team, Star Trek: Discovery, Will & Grace and The X-Files, as well as the season finale of Marvel’s Runaways. Two of those will be leaving the TMINE viewing queue forthwith – can you guess which ones?

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Burden of Truth
Canadian TV

Review: Burden of Truth 1×1 (Canada: CBC)

In Canada: Wednesdays, 8pm, CBC

TV seems to think that any professional is a master of all trades. See those Crime Scene Investigators? They’re not just scientists, they’re great at doing police investigations, interrogations, you name it, according to CSI. Paramedics? Who needs them when the fire brigade can do it all for them in 9-1-1?

Lawyers, of course, are well known for investigating and solving crimes themselves on TV. But until now, we’ve not really had “lawyer as epidemiologist”.

Burden of Truth sees Smallville‘s Kristin Kreuk playing a high-flying lawyer at a firm run by her dad. A golden opportunity to win the custom of a big pharmaceutical company comes along, when a group of girls in a small town start suing the firm, claiming that its HPV vaccine is making them ill. All Kreuk has to do is get them to stop their claim and she wins the business. Trouble is, it’s the same small town she grew up in and which she and her dad were hounded out of 17 years earlier for reasons not as yet revealed.

Reprehensible?

For a while, Burden of Truth looks to be a pretty reprehensible piece of work. Despite Kreuk’s vehemency against ‘anti-vaxxers’, all signs point to the show becoming Big Pharma Is Bad and Kreuk switching sides when she finds out the truth. Numerous scenes have Kreuk trying to pay off the locals, all while she dishes out mealy mouthed “temporal proximity does not indicate causality” responses to the touchy feely “your vaccine made me sick” girls and their families.

Fortunately, about halfway through, it becomes clear that actually, the vaccine’s fine and CBC isn’t about to cause a Canada-wide public health crisis. Hopefully, viewers will indeed learn that simply because you did something and you got sick afterwards, it doesn’t mean what you did made you sick.

What the show then becomes is Kreuk deciding to go Erin Brockovich, and stay in town to work out what really caused the illnesses and to somehow make amends for whatever it is her dad did that still has people punching her and spitting at her 20 years later. Whether she’ll be fingering Big Mining, Big Chemical, Big Agro or Little Chinese Herbal Medicine (warning: may contain traces of anthrax) as the true cause is the mystery that will drive the rest of the season.

Burden

That still leaves a show that’s makes you feel like it’s sent you an envelope of incriminating photographs, such is the emotional blackmail going on. The lawyering is all slightly perfunctory and the show’s heart is really in having Kreuk feel bad.

Numerous are the scenes in which children curse Kreuk for offering them $50,000 and opine things like “I always wanted to be a lawyer but now I’ve met you I don’t” or “You may have worked for a big company but I thought you were a human being. But you’re not.” Kids, hey? Thick as mince, the lot of them.

Meanwhile, police officers unexpectedly pull up and say things like “I never thought I’d see a Hanley in this town, not after what your dad did.”

The show has all the subtlety of a Hallmark movie about single mothers.

Amiable

Manipulative it may be, but it’s reasonably amiable manipulation. Kreuk is more plausible here as a big city lawyer than she was as a big city police detective in Beauty and the Beast. She also has decent chemistry with Peter Mooney (Rookie Blue), who plays the town’s hero lawyer and her former High School sparring partner. And despite all the emotional blackmail, it’s always nice to see a show about people being nice, even lawyers.

So I might keep on watching this. To be honest, I really just want to find out what caused the sickness. Even thought the trailer below suggests it’s something else, I do hope it’s the Chinese Medicine store. That would really dick up the anti-vaxxers (“They’re natural remedies, you know?”).

Craith
International TV

What have you been watching? Including 9-1-1, grown-ish, Alone Together, Craith and The Chi

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

Be careful what you wish for! Last week, I hoped for new TV to watch. Then it arrived en masse and I suddenly didn’t have the time to write about it all. Gah! That means I’m going to have to do it all now. Oh well.

Elsewhere, at least, I’ve reviewed both the first episode of LA to Vegas (US: Fox) and the whole of season two of The Crown (Netflix), as well as previewed Counterpart (US: Starz). But as you recall from last week’s rundown of forthcoming reviews, there was a whole lot more due. I haven’t yet managed to find a way to watch Stan’s reboot of old Russell Crowe movie Romper Stomper (I can remember Mariella Frostrup getting the horn over Crowe while reviewing it on Video View, it’s so old) without forking out money and I’m saving up Britannia (UK: Sky Atlantic) for next week’s Boxset Monday, but otherwise we’re pretty much there with the lot of them.

Sadly, no Happy! last week, but after the jump, I’ll be looking at the usual regulars: Engrenages (Spiral), Great News and Marvel’s Runaways. A bunch of old regulars are back, too, so I’ll also be having words to say about The Brave, Cardinal, Falling Water, SEAL Team, Star Trek: Discovery, The X-Files and Will & Grace. And on top of that, I’ll be reviewing new shows Along Together, Grown-ish and 9-1-1, as well casting a brief glance at fellow new arrivals Craith and The Chi.

See you in a mo!

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The Disappearance
Airdates

When’s that show you mentioned starting, TMINE? Including The Disappearance and Six

Every Friday, TMINE lets you know when the latest global TV shows will air in the UK

Two premiere dates, including one new acquisition, to start the New Year, you’ll be glad to hear.

Six
History’s Six: (l-r) Jaylen Moore, Kyle Schmid, Barry Sloane, Walton Goggins, Juan Pablo Raba, Edwin Hodge, Donny Boaz

Six (US: History; UK: 5Spike)
Premiere date: Friday, January 19, 9pm

Former SEAL Team Six troop leader Richard ‘Rip’ Taggart (Walton Goggins) is captured by Boko Haram and it’s up to his former SEAL Team Six comrades to put their differences aside to locate and rescue their former troop leader.

Not even half as good as SEAL Team or even the less SEAL-ish The Brave, it’s a show that gets by on the kudos of its subject matter, rather than any real aptitude at drama or characterisation. ISIS terrorists recruiting online from plush apartments in Dubai and communicating using video games? In English? Hmm.

Episode reviews: 1, 2

The Disappearance
The Disappearance (l-r): Aden Young, Camille Sullivan and Peter Coyote

The Disappearance (Canada: CTV; UK: Universal Channel)
Premiere date: Tuesday, February 27, 9pm

I didn’t watch this one because it’s a mini-series and started while I was on holiday (IIRC). So here’s the rubric:

The Disappearance follows the Sullivan family in the wake of a terrifying family drama. As the fractured family bands together to solve the mystery that has uprooted their lives, long-held secrets are uncovered. Driven by hope and a relentless determination to do whatever necessary to uncover the mystery, the same hidden truths that threaten to shatter this family may also be the very key to reuniting them.

The six episode drama series was created by Normand Daneau and Geneviève Simard and stars Peter Coyote (ET), Aden Young (Rectify), Camille Sullivan (The Man In The High Castle), Joanne Kelly (Warehouse 13), Micheline Lanctôt (Unité 9) and Kevin Parent (Café de Flore).

Get Krack!n
TMINE

Question of the year: what were your favourite new shows of 2017? Here’s my Top 14!

TMINE’s about to take its traditional Christmas and New Year break. Normal business will resume on January 2nd with the Daily News et al.

But as usual, I’ll leave you with a specific question to keep you occupied in my absence: what were your favourite new shows of the year? Let everyone know your choices and the reasons below or on your own blog – or even on the shiny new TMINE Facebook page.

For the record, after the jump are my Top 14 shows from all over the world, in no particular order. Obviously, I’ve not watched every TV programme broadcast or acquired in the UK this year and I barely watched any live TV, so there are almost certainly some good shows that that I’ve left off the list – this is just the top “would recommend to a friend” shows of the ones I watched in 2017.
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