US TV

What have you been watching? Including Jupiter’s Legacy, Kung Fu, Mythic Quest and Without Remorse

WHYBW is back to Mondays, so no new Debris to review this week. But I have been watching some new shows. It’s almost like old times, hey?

Kung Fu (US: The CW) isn’t so much a reboot or revival of the original 1970s show – or even Kung Fu: The Next Generation – as a complete reimagining, albeit with some similarities to the original. Set in modern times, it has a Chinese-American girl going on holiday to China, discovering it’s been organised as a marriage matchmaking by her mum, and does a Mulan – running of to join a local female-only Shaolin temple. After the temple gets burned down by an Evil Ex-Pupil and her Sifu killed, she heads off to the US and is reunited with her family. And is accompanied by the ghost/memory of her former master.

Sounds a bit familiar at least, to fans of the original, but there the similarities peter out, as our heroine firstly has to join forces with her (gay) brother, her Crazy Rich Asians computer hacker sister and the studly local youth centre T’ai Ch’i master to fight crime in San Francisco – particularly the gang boss who’s extorting her parents. Secondly, Evil Ex-Pupil is on the hunt for eight magic swords that will give her awesome magical powers, and our heroine might be the only one who can stop her – and might have magical powers herself.

It’s a slightly weird combo that actually just about works, although the kung fu is almost as bad as the original’s. The crime fighting and family relationships are more interesting than the magical side of things, which is just a bit bobbins. But the characters didn’t really engage me, so I won’t go past the first episode, I don’t think.

Jupiter’s Legacy (Netflix) is a massively more promising affair. Based on the graphic novel by Mark Millar, it’s a musing on… well, lots of things, TBH. It sees one generation of nearly immortal people given superpowers during the Great Depression having to deal with the fact in modern times that their kids have superpowers – and maybe different attitudes towards morality et al to them. Is killing always wrong, do they need a code to keep them in check, should they have intervened in World War 2 and stopped the Holocaust?

There are elements of Watchmen, The Boys and more in there, but this is very much its own beast. Its showrunner is Steven DeKnight, who was of course responsible for both season 1 of Daredevil (Netflix) and Spartacus, so you can probably tell this is a definite 18-certificate affair when it comes to the gore. As well as being pretty dark and as ‘realistic’ as something like this can be, though, it’s also pretty funny, has a great cast and has keep me interested for four episodes so far. I’ll let you know how the rest of it pans out.

Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet (Apple TV+) returned with a two-parter and was gloriously funny. The cast are the same but there has been some character movements – new pairings, some advances in relationships – but largely it’s the same show, mulling on the difficulties of creativity. It felt a bit more office comedy than before, with less on games per se, more on just general workplace difficulties. But the nastiness, smartness and general amusement were very much back in force.

Lastly, we have Amazon’s latest addition to its Tom Clancy collection, Without Remorse (2021), which is an origin story (set in modern times, nevertheless) for Clancy’s non-Jack Ryan anti-hero, John T Clark, that sees Michael B Jordan going from regular Navy SEAL-type to becoming a clandestine superman when his wife is predictably killed by Russian bad guys in retaliation for MBJ killing one of theirs, etc, etc.

Honestly, it was both dull and dark. Dark and dull. In that order. Very predictable, with everyone talking the talk and shooting the shot in a hope that all that manly super-efficiency at not having any emotions will compensate for not having any real personalities, characters or plot. This is despite again a decent cast, particularly, MBJ. You could see pretty much everything coming, right up to the creation of (spoiler alert) Rainbow Six right at the end, particularly as it was all shot like a video game.

But what did you watch?

Streaming TV

What have you been watching? Including Mythic Quest

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

Last week, WHYBW pulled a sickie, thanks to the Covid vaccination giving me possibly the worst illness I’ve had in years. I’m better now, but not looking forward to number two in July… Thankfully, invalidity still didn’t stop me from watching TV, so I’m up to date with pretty much everything.

Debris (US: NBC) has continued to be pleasantly unpleasant. Although each episode still ends with some heartwarming proof of the delights of human nature, it’s usually accompanied by something horribly unpleasant and some Fringe cast-offs, such as (spoiler alert) a telekinetic/telepathic girl ramming a relative’s head into some metal shards to stop him using his own mind-control to get our heroes to shoot themselves . There’s also lots of distrust and backstabbing, and the effects of the miraculous space debris seem largely to be settling down on things passing through other things – with suitably biologically unpleasant results.

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier (Disney+) concluded with accompanying name change (no, no spoilers) in a slightly odd way, it has to be said. A magnificent speech and the bits in the Smithsonian were desperately moving, but the final half seemed more like an effort to set up about half a dozen spin-off shows and movies than a decent denouement. Plus for a show called The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, there really wasn’t much Winter Soldier this episode.

For All Mankind (Apple TV+) also had a very moving as well as exciting season finale. Lots of soapiness in the preceding episodes that was very draining and slowing of the plot, but how can you knock (spoiler alert) Moon War! and its own outer space version of the Cuban Missile Crisis but in the 80s? Plus props for references to Space: 1999. All in all, not as good a second season as the first and everything sort of petered out with various storylines, such as Molly’s medical condition, but I imagine season three will pick that up. All I can say is, thank God we’re into the 1990s now. I’m so sick of 80s nostalgia and period pieces.

Last up, we had the return of Mythic Quest (Apple TV+). Not 100% inspiring this one, which I think was written by one of the cast members and saw our heroes and heroines return to the office after a year of Covid for their annual pick-me-up LARP party, only for it to go disastrously wrong. Some good chuckles to be had nevertheless and some nicely cynical moments. Also surprisingly big budget, as we entered actual fantasy sequences towards with some solid effects, and with a surprise guest voiceover by Anthony Hopkins. But I’m hoping the series-proper is a little bit more focused on the bad behaviour and the niceties of game design than this ep was.

But what did you watch?

International TV

What have you been watching? Including Mythic Quest

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

Previously on TMINE

It’s been another reviews-light week this week, thanks principally to there being a bank holiday and there not being much to watch. Plus I’ve been busy. However, things are going to be a little quieter for me next week and there’s at least a couple of new shows worth watching coming up, so I should have some reviews for you in June. Hoorah!

What TMINE is currently watching…

I’m a little further into season 3 of Baron Noir (France: Canal+; UK: Amazon), but not yet done, so hold your horses on that. I also watched Charlie Brooker’s Antiviral Wipe (UK: BBC Two), which was welcome but not totally different from all previous wipes. It was moderately depressing, since I’d given up watching the news of late on the general grounds of its general depressingness, so I got to watch all the depressing things I’d missed. But there was at least an element of optimism in there and it was nice to see the return of Cunk.

Could have done with some Adam Curtis, though.

Next on TMINE

Usual lockdown rules, even though lockdown is easing: I’m going to try to watch all of these but there’s a fair chance I may end up watching none because Life.

I haven’t got around to watching Anna Kendrick’s new thing, Love Life (US: HBO Max), but have every intention of catching that over the weekend. Lovely wife has expressed an interest in watching Steve Carrell’s Space Force (Netflix), so there’s a good chance I’ll have seen at least one episode of that before Monday, but hopefully more. Who knows? Maybe it’ll even be a Boxset?

That’s it from the US, though*, but Australia will be offering Cold War thriller Operation Buffalo (Australia: ABC) on Sunday, so that’ll be on the line-up, too.

* I really need to check What time, TMINE, to see if there are only foreign shows on Netflix that I’ve missed, don’t I? Because if I don’t read TMINE, who on Earth else will, hey?

Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet

After the jump…

After the jump is the diminishing list of regulars: What We Do In The Shadows and new arrival Star Girl, as well as the season finales of both One Lane Bridge and Mystery Road. But Apple TV+’s Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet made a surprise guest appearance with a quarantine episode, so I watched that as well. All of those in a mo.

Continue reading “What have you been watching? Including Mythic Quest”
Viral videos

Quarantine viral video: W1A returns

Many US TV show casts are reuniting by Zoom for charity read-throughs and even whole new episodes – Mythic Quest has just unveiled its latest episode, shot using 40 iPhones in the actors’ homes.

However, they’re not alone and yesterday, the cast of BBC Two’s W1A reunited for a five-minute special to announce the formation of the BBC Covid-19 Bounce Back Group.

Among those making an appearance are Hugh Bonneville, Monica Dolan, Sarah Parish, Jason Watkins and David Westhead.

[via]

Star Trek Shorts
News

Good Girls, Code 404 renewed; Pike, Spock and No 1 Star Trek series; + more

Every weekday, TMINE brings you the latest TV news from around the world

Internet TV

UK TV

US TV

New US TV shows