I also plan on resurrecting Nostalgia Corner to take in forgotten 60s CSI precursor Strange Report.
And Netflix and Amazon both have things like The Boys, season 3 of GLOW and season 2 of Mindhunter lined up, so I might just try to take them in, too. And then there’s season 2 of False Flag coming to Fox UK soon.
Of course, all of that’s going to require me to lounge around by the pool a lot and you never know, I might actually do things this holiday, so I’m not guaranteeing any of that. Certainly not with cash. Oh no.
Before then, I’ll also be regularly updating the TMINE Facebook page with breaking news, and tweeting (or more likely retweeting) away on Twitter. And if I spot anything televisual, I’ll bung it up on the TMINE Instagram feed.
Keep ’em peeled, anyway.
Meanwhile, keep chatting here with one another, reviewing shows you’ve seen yourselves and being an excellent to one another.
If you’re going on vacation yourself, I hope you have a great time. See you all refreshed and ready for more TV when I’m back.
Well, that was a disappointment. And a relief. But probably not for the reasons you were thinking.
So, Netflix’s various Marvel superhero shows have been in something of a funk of a late. When they were first announced, everyone was sceptical. With all the best Marvel superheroes in the cinema, what was Netflix going to do with a bunch of also-rans like Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist?
But under the auspices of Steven DeKnight and Drew Goddard, the first season of Marvel’s Daredevil blew everyone away. This was quality TV. Okay, the costume was a let-down but at least that was only five minutes at the end of the last episode and we could just about excuse the magic ninja, the extreme sadism and Daredevil’s ability to heal crippling injuries in a couple of days using only the power of meditation before that.
Then Marvel’s Jessica Jones came along and that was the end of that – it looked like Netflix was doing for superhero shows what it had done for Internet TV with House of Cards. Phew. We were in safe hands. Roll on the other two shows.
Since then, those of us following these shows have largely been in a state of perpetual disappointment. Maybe it would have been better if the first two shows hadn’t been quite so good, then we wouldn’t have been quite so disappointed. Marvel’s Luke Cage was okay, but not great. Marvel’s Iron Fist was awesome! Unfortunately, I’m probably the only person who thought that (screw you, haters). The much-anticipated second season of Daredevilwas half-good, half-dreadful. The great big team-up of all four superheroes, Marvel’s The Defenders, was a bit blah thanks to a rushed conclusion and poor characterisation. Season two of Jessica Jones was season one of Jessica Jones again. Yawn. Season two of Luke Cage was a marked improvement over season one, but still not good enough to prevent it getting cancelled. Season two of Iron Fist was not only soporific, it was season two of Luke Cage as well, so it got cancelled, too.
The one bright star in the Marvel firmament was unexpected addition The Punisher.
So it was with low expectations but a certain degree of hope that I went into season three of Marvel’s Daredevil. Would it be as good as season one? Would it even be good?
I crossed my fingers, anyway.
Daredevil to hope
As I said, after 13 episodes, both relief and disappointment were the results. Disappointment, not because it was bad, but because it starts so well. The first six or so episodes are great. It then just turns into absolute rubbish. It’s stupid and almost unwatchable at times. Remember the Hand? Just as bad.
Oh the disappointment.
So why relief? Because thankfully, the final three or four episodes are great again. Woo hoo!
And it’s all by going back to the first season and what was good about the show. And by ditching that stupid costume. Spoilers after the jump.
I, however, loved it. I’ve now seen it four times and am about a third of the way through a fifth viewing. I’m not exactly sure why. Perhaps it’s just the general idea of a Western man going to the East and becoming a wise, superhuman, martial arts-equipped, force of good chimed with my childhood of watching Kung Fu and The Champions. Maybe it’s a fascination with Eastern cultures that led me to do jiu jitsu for 14 years and try (very unsuccessfully) to learn both Japanese and Buddhism.
Maybe it’s just because season 1 was so odd, a superhero show made by someone (Scott Buck) who’s clearly not a fan of superheroes so didn’t really follow the usual templates for stories such as these. No automatic use of a fight every five minutes to liven things up. An actual reverence and awe for its subject matter. A focus on characters and philosophy rather than fists.
Or maybe it gave me something to do while I was ironing.
Whatever it was, screw you haters, because I loved it.
The return of Iron Fist
Billionaire playboy and carrier of the ch’i of the dragon Shou Lao the Undying, Danny Rand’s appearance in Marvel’s TheDefenders did him no favours in winning over the doubters, however, seeing as the show was a bit rubbish and it was clearly written by people who knew Matt Murdoch’s Daredevil quite well, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Danny not so much. It had its moments, most of them involving Danny, but its eight episodes still seemed too much and despite bringing the entire set of Netflix Marvel superheroes together in one place, it proved insipid enough that no second season is planned.
Since then, Netflix has done its best to convince the doubters to give our Danny a second chance by giving him a cameo in the second season of Luke Cage. Shoeless but rebooted, this was a different Danny, a grown-up, zen-like Danny who helps out his pals, offers them sage advice and cracks jokes.
Kung Fu had come home, it seemed.
Netflix also changed showrunner for the show’s second season. Scott Buck was out, off to try to convince me I’d been wrong about Iron Fist by making a hashing of Marvel’s Inhumans. In was Raven Metzner, writer and producer of the likes of Sleepy Hollow and FallingSkies, and self-confessed fan of the Iron Fist comics.
Also in was stunt coordinator Clayton Barber (Creed, Marvel’s Black Panther) to improve on the much criticised lacklustre fights of the first season.
Born to be dull
Early reviews of season two certainly promised ‘a much improved’ season from the first one, so I was excited going into this. Surely, this would be good. Surely I would no longer be alone and everyone would be converted to the church of Iron Fist?
Except it’s not. Oh my, it’s not. If season two of Iron Fist had a tattoo on its chest, it would be “Born to be Dull”.
Right up until the final five minutes, that is, which is just so fantastic, so steeped in the marvellous imagination of the comics, so much fun, that you’ll be begging for a third season. Just don’t bother watching anything that comes before it.
Spoilers for the entire season after the jump, so either watch before reading or assume you’re never going to watch it and read it anyway.
It’s “What have you been watching?”, your chance to recommend to fellow TMINE readers anything you’ve been watching this week/month
I’m calling it – summer season is dead. It has ceased to be. It is an ex-season.
Before TMINE went away on its holidays, I pointed out how quiet July had been worldwide, but while I was away, the number of new shows has been small. Very small. Castle Rock (US: Hulu) and Dead Lucky (Australia: ABC) were released and Netflix gave us Insatiable, but that was basically it.
Sure, there have been returning shows, but new shows haven’t had a look-in and a lot of shows that used to air over July and August have postponed their returns until the end of the month or September. That even includes the final season of The Lost Ship, which was filmed a year ago, so production concerns clearly weren’t stopping it from being aired in its usual slot.
I’m guessing that ratings haven’t held up for any TV shows. Probably because everyone’s been on holiday. Or maybe it’s because of my fearsome “if it starts in August, I won’t review it rule.” That’s probably it, isn’t it? Still, it does make my life easier.
Thankfully, new shows have already started coming online. Netflix has this very day given us Ghoul, The Innocents and Deadwind, while Amazon has woken up again and is giving us Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan next week. I’ll try to watch some, if not all of them, and give you at least one Boxset next week. After that, I’ll be struggling to catch up with the release schedule, with new Iron Fist coming, The Last Ship back, and season two of Ozark due on 31st.
In the meantime, I’ve been continuing with the usual viewing queue, although that’s now down to just Shooter, given Condor and Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger finished their runs while I was on holiday. All of them I’ll discuss after the jump.
I also scoured around for new shows to watch, as well. Of the shows I mentioned last time, I could never quite bring myself to watch the rest of Jongo but I made a brave stab at the properly subtitled second season of You Are Wanted. I also managed to catch the movie version of Stargate: Origins, and started a new French show: Au service de la France (A Very Secret Service). But we can talk about all of those after the jump.