The Good Place
Airdates

When’s that show you mentioned starting again, TMINE? Including The Good Place, The Gifted and Star

Every Friday, TMINE lets you know the latest announcements about when new imported TV shows will finally be arriving on UK screens – assuming anyone’s bought anything, of course

A little bit earlier expected, I know, but hey – it’s nearly September and there have been a few announcements, so I figured easing back into the swing of things with a round-up of all of August’s acquisitions and premiere dates might be a good idea.

First off, in acquisitions:

  • The Good Doctor (US: ABC; UK: Sky Living)
    Freddie Highmore is an autistic savant surgeon. Hasn’t aired in the US yet
  • Reformation (Germany: ZDF; UK: BBC Four)
    Martin Luther biopic. Hasn’t aired in Germany yet!
  • Snowfall (US: FX; UK: BBC Two)
    Cocaine drama set in 80s LA. I watched the first few episodes but it wasn’t that great.
    Episode reviews: 1, 2, 3
  • The Valley (Germany: TNT Serie; UK: Shudder)
    A young man who has lost his memory wakes up near the corpse of a young woman hanging in the harvested grapes.
  • Ronny Chieng: International Student (Australia: ABC; UK: BBC Three)
    Ostensibly Daily Show correspondent Ronny Chieng in a semi-autobiographical comedy about life at an Australian University – but basically Oz’s answer to Spaced. I ended up recommending it
    Episode reviews: 1-2, 3, 4, 5, 6

But we also have some premiere dates.

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You Are Wanted
US TV

What have you been watching? Including You are Wanted, Twin Peaks, GLOW and Ronny Chieng

It’s “What have you been watching?”, my chance to tell you each week what movies and TV I’ve been watching recently and your chance to recommend anything you’ve been watching. Anything good?

Summer’s nearly here. Ignore the sunshine that may (or may not) be outside your window, because the true signs of summer are new TV shows arriving on our screens. Things should be hotting up by the end of the month, but already this week I’ve covered Will (US: TNT) and Snowfall (US: FX) and passed a third-episode verdict on Riviera (UK: Sky Atlantic).

But we’re not quite there yet, so although I’ll be looking at the usual regulars after the jump, I’ve been filling my empty days with some more catch-up TV. So follow me after the jump where not only will we be talking about the latest episodes of GLOWRonny Chieng – International Student and Twin Peaks, I’ll also be chatting about the tail end of You Are Wanted. See you in a mo…

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What have you been watching? Including American Gods, The Handmaid’s Tale and Doctor Who

It’s “What have you been watching?”, my chance to tell you what movies and TV I’ve been watching recently and your chance to recommend anything you’ve been watching.

The thing about holidays, even short ones, is you end up with masses of work to do in order to catch up. So apologies for the lack of much blogging last week and indeed this week, but work called. Plus there hasn’t been that much new to review anyway.

Since the last WHYBW, I’ve looked at all the new shows I could find (there was probably something on Netflix, but they tend to hide) but that tally isn’t huge:

Come on TV networks! What am I going to focus my sarcasm on if you’re not going to wheel out some crappy new summer shows. (What’s that Freeform (US)? The Bold Type started last night? Fine, I’ll review it tomorrow.)

It doesn’t help, of course, that a lot of current shows are winding up, too. After the jump, all I’ll be able to talk about are the latest episodes of Downward Dog, Doctor Who, Silicon Valley, Twin Peaks and You Are Wanted, as well as the season finales of American Gods and The Handmaid’s Tale. Pfft. I’m going to have to take up crocheting or something, aren’t I?

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What have you been watching? Including You Are Wanted, Passengers and The Accountant

It’s “What have you been watching?”, my chance to tell you what movies and TV I’ve been watching recently and your chance to recommend anything you’ve been watching.

WHYBW took a bit of a break last week, thanks to there being Twin Peaks to watch and not enough time to do that and write about other TV, too. But it’s back, just in time to catch some season finales as the US Fall season begins to wave its final goodbyes and the Summer season starts to kick in.

There have been a few new shows, too, in the past fortnight: the first episode of Downward Dog and those first two new episodes of Twin Peaks I’ve already reviewed elsewhere and I’ll be reviewing Still Star-Crossed (US: ABC) and previewing I’m Dying Up Here (US: Showtime) later in the week. But with a bank holiday weekend, I’ve had a chance to catch up with everything, watch a few movies and even try some of my backlog.

So, after the jump, I’ll be reviewing the latest episodes of American Gods, The Americans, Doctor Who, Downward Dog, The Handmaid’s Tale, Master of None, Silicon Valley and Twin Peaks, as well as the season finales of The Flash, Great News and Lucifer. Before then, a new TV show and not one but two movies!

You Are Wanted (Amazon)
Amazon’s first German-language TV show is a Berlin-set ‘techno thriller’ starring (and written, directed, produced and composed by) one of Germany’s most successful actor-director-composer-writer-cameramen-producers Matthias Schweighöfer, who plays a moderately successful hotel manager and family man, whose life starts to fall apart when hacktivists start to take an interest in him for no obvious reason. Before you know it, they’re in every computer system he has from his laptop and smartphone through to his TV and child monitor, stealing his money, faking an affair and incriminating him in crimes, all while blacking out Berlin’s power system. What do they want and why him? Well, you’ll have to watch to find out.

The first episode was a touch more German in its production values than Amazonian (ie not as good and a bit silly at times), but while it’s not exactly Mr Robot when it comes to hacking, it’s not American Odyssey either, exhibiting a slight hint that it might know a bit about the subject at least. Schweighöfer is appealing, but there’s not much by way of thrills so far, just a lot of Schweighöfer playing with his family and reinstalling operating systems. But it’s promising enough I’ll probably be watching episode two this week at some point.

Word to the wise: despite promises to the contrary, Roku’s Amazon channel won’t display subtitles (I’ve fiddled with every setting it has and nada on anything I’ve watched). So, although half the dialogue’s in English, your German had better be up to knowing what “hydraulic fracking” and “epidemiology” are auf Deutsch if you’re to get by on that platform, so stick with iOS (which definitely does work) or something else. When I gave the subtitles a whirl, though, they turned out to be pretty bad translations that removed any nuance from the original (eg “Google is your friend” became “Use Google”), so I’m not sure that’s much better.

Passengers (2016)
Mechanic Chris Pratt is in hypersleep on board a spaceship to a new colony, when a meteorite collision causes a malfunction on the ship. Pratt wakes up 90 years too early and he’s the only one on board apart from android barman Michael Sheen. Dare he wake up alluring writer Jennifer Lawrence to keep him company? And if he does, what will she do when he finds out he’s effectively killed her? And was his malfunctioning hypersleep pod the only thing damaged by the collision?

A lot has been written about the gender politics of Pratt’s actions in this and to be fair, the movie does go at great lengths not to dodge the ethical questions involved. It’s also far more of a piece of science-fiction than you might have assumed and everything looks very beautiful. But ultimately this is a two-hander between Pratt and Lawrence and how much you’ll want to watch this and their musings about the meaning of life and death very much depends on how much like both of them, whether you find their age gap a bit creepy and whether you think Pratt unconsensually violating sleeping Lawrence’s body (metaphorically) is too much of an obstacle to your enjoying the movie. There’s a brief appearance by (spoiler) Laurence Fishburne and a so-brief-you-probably-won’t-even-see-his-face cameo by (spoiler) Andy Garcia, too, which makes me think there’s a longer cut of the movie out there somewhere…

The Accountant (2016)
An odd attempt to revive The Saint but without paying a licence fee, in which rather than Val Kilmer playing a swashbuckling and suave master criminal who adopts Catholic saints as his noms de plume, we have Ben Affleck playing a socially awkward savant and master criminal who adopts the names of famous mathematicians as his noms de plume, as he goes about… analysing the finances of whomever will pay him. Anna Kendrick is the Elisabeth Shue of the piece, a mid-level accountant who finds an irregularity in her employer (John Lithgow)’s books that Affleck can’t stop himself from investigating. Except Affleck has a very specific code of conduct and if any of his employers break it, he’ll use all the training his psych ops army dad gave him to kill them with extreme prejudice. Trouble is, Lithgow has hired Jon Bernthal (Marvel’s Daredevil‘s The Punisher) to protect him so Affleck might not find the going so easy and Treasury agent Cynthia Addai-Robinson is chasing after him in the exact same way she chases Ryan Phillippe in Shooter

Written by Bill Dubuque (The Judge and Netflix’s forthcoming Ozark) and directed by Gavin O’Connor (Warrior), oddly enough the film is more about an accountant with autistic spectrum disorder than it is about a fighty master assassin, with Affleck redeploying the ‘tortured hero with a disability’ routine he used in Daredevil to evoke sympathy as he does a lot of A Beautiful Mind-like writing on vertical surfaces. But oddly, although its portrayal of ASD’s sensory issues as something that simply needs to be overcome through harsh regimens of fighting, flashing lights, loud noise and hitting yourself with a stick is probably a little contra-indicated, it’s surprisingly accurate, albeit more in a Bron/Broen (The Bridge) sort of way than Life, Animated, with Affleck’s character driven by, advantaged by and disadvantaged by his condition throughout.

The ending is surprising, the fight scenes are genuinely very good, and Affleck and Kendrick are frequently amusing together. And I promise you you’ll never see Martha from The Americans the same way by the end. It’s nonsense and there’s one scene in which JK Simmons sits down to explain the entire plot to the audience, but it’s nevertheless a jolly entertaining, surprisingly smart, surprisingly generous action movie that does for ASD what Daredevil does for blindness.

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News: Nick Frost is Captain Pugwash; Germany/Austria’s own Bridge; Trial & Error renewed; + more

Film casting

European TV

Scandinavian TV

New UK TV show casting

  • Hugh Grant to star in BBC One’s A Very English Scandal

US TV

US TV show casting

New US TV shows

  • Freeform’s black-ish spin-off to be called college-ish