US TV

What have you been watching? Including Indebted, Briarpatch, Katy Keene, Tommy and For Life

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

Mythic Quest

Previously on TMINE

TMINE was clearly on speed or something this week, since it served up reviews of not one but two streaming Boxsets: the first seasons of Apple TV+’s Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet and Netflix’s Ragnarok.

Meanwhile, in the film world, Orange Thursday… didn’t happen. Sorry, I forgot I was actually supposed to be having a day off on Thursday. Still that does mean I definitely have a double-bill lined up for tomorrow…

Parasite
Parasite

Next on TMINE

It’s Part II of Spring 2020 in the US and after the jump, I’ll be reviewing literally all the new shows that aired on broadcast TV this week: Briarpatch, Indebted, Interrogation, Katy Keene, For Life, and Tommy.

However, don’t be surprised, given I’ve watched all of that as well as two entire boxsets (plus half of another, which I’ll tell you about in a mo), that I didn’t quite have time to watch all of Netflix’s Locke & Key. But I am two episodes in and I’m hoping to get through the rest of it within the next week – who knows, maybe next week will be another Boxset doubler because…

…also coming up in the next week are new shows High Fidelity, ZeroZeroZero and Utopia Falls, while Narcos: Mexico is back for a second season. That’s four shows from which to pick a second boxset, so expect at least one of them, maybe two, to get a review, too.

Meanwhile in movies, tomorrow’s Orange Thursday will be reviewing A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2020) and Parasite (2019), as I don’t have a day off this week. Definitely.

Iron Fist
Iron Fist

The regulars

The regulars list is now small enough that I’m pretty sure I’m only watching some as a result of experimental error: Avenue 5, The Outsider and Star Trek: Picard. And one of those is for the chop this week, too – you can see which one after the jump, but it probably won’t take much guesswork.

As you might expect, even with two boxsets, a third on the go, movies being watched and a whole bunch of new shows to watch, I found myself with time on my hands and ironing to do. Naturally, I started watching Marvel’s Iron Fist again – I’m now midway through my fifth viewing of season one, and yes, I’m still seeing new things in it and no, I’m not certifiable, thanks for asking, imaginary voice in my head.

But after a few eps of Iron Fist, with an ironing pile that wasn’t diminishing, I suddenly remembered that the second season of Netflix’s Altered Carbon is due to hit the Internet in a couple of weeks, so I decided to give season one a re-watch.

Altered Carbon
Altered Carbon

Altered Carbon: the rewatch

Unlike my rewatch of season one of Marvel’s Daredevil, my rewatch of Altered Carbon hasn’t made me reconsider my original view of the show: it’s still a beautifully made bit of sci-fi with a colossal problem with women (that may or may not be inherent to it or a critique of the patriarchy) that has six or so fabulous episodes that collide with the brick wall of the seventh as soon as we reach the big part of the narrative that wasn’t in the book. I’m on that episode at the moment, so I’m not going any further – or I’ll skip it and head straight into episode eight.

But on the plus side, my rewatch has reminded me of how good those first few episodes were, as well as some of the plot. It’s also interesting to rewatch more or less remembering not just whodunnit but why they dunnit, to see what clues the show leaves and how well the whole ‘universe’ holds together (pretty well).

All the same, watching the trailer for season two today, it’s noticeable that all the plot highlights seem to suggest that rather than going with one of the other books in the series, the show’s producers are doubling down on their own created mythos. So while Anthony Mackie looks like a good replacement for Joel Kinnaman in the lead role, I can’t say I’m 100% looking forward to the next season.

Continue reading “What have you been watching? Including Indebted, Briarpatch, Katy Keene, Tommy and For Life”
TMINE

TMINE is now on holiday

It’s that time again. August is nearly upon us, bearing little TV news and few new TV shows – as well as my annual pilgrimage to Greece.

When will I be back? Dunno. This year, though, I suspect I might actually start up again when I get back mid-August, so start looking for new things, perhaps even the news, from around August 19.

I actually have a plan to catch up on a select bunch of shows while I’m away, so brace yourselves for a few Boxsets on my return:

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.

Daredevil and Fisk
Streaming TV

Boxset Monday: Marvel’s Daredevil (season three) (Netflix)

Available on Netflix

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 Daredevil was 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.

Bullseye

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.

Continue reading “Boxset Monday: Marvel’s Daredevil (season three) (Netflix)”

Marvel's Iron Fist
News

Iron Fist cancelled; Lethal Weapon extended; Name of the Rose trailer; + more

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Marvel's Iron Fist
Streaming TV

Boxset Monday: Marvel’s Iron Fist (season two) (Netflix)

Available on Netflix

If you believe Netflix, season one of Marvel’s Iron Fist was a tremendous success. It didn’t quite beat Marvel’s Luke Cage in the ratings, but it did top the first seasons of Marvel’s Jessica Jones and Marvel’s Daredevil. By contrast, general reaction veered somewhere between lukewarm and outright hate – and that went for the critics, too. Certainly, I’ve not found anyone who actually liked it.

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 The Defenders 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 Falling Skies, 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.

Continue reading “Boxset Monday: Marvel’s Iron Fist (season two) (Netflix)”